High level talks to get under way in Western Cape following deadly spate of taxi shootings

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 Taxi associations and the Western Cape Transport MEC are preparing to meet on Thursday in an attempt to get to the bottom of a spate of shootings in the province.
Taxi associations and the Western Cape Transport MEC are preparing to meet on Thursday in an attempt to get to the bottom of a spate of shootings in the province.
Moeketsi Mamane
  • Taxi associations are scheduled to meet on Thursday with Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell.
  • Seven people were killed in taxi violence this week.
  • The violence had been attributed to a dispute over a Paarl taxi route.

Taxi associations are meeting with the Western Cape government on Thursday in an attempt to get to the bottom of a spate of deadly mass shootings in the province.

There have been 71 taxi-related murders in the Western Cape since the start of the year.

READ | Four wounded in another Western Cape taxi shooting

In a series of shootings on Wednesday, seven taxi operators were killed, allegedly due to fighting between taxi associations, Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta), Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell previously told News24.

Western Cape police, however, only confirmed four people died and five others were injured during the spate of shooting attacks on Wednesday.

On Thursday, police confirmed another death and another injury close to the taxi rank in Robert Sobukwe Drive.

"An unknown suspect fired several gunshots at two taxis passing by.  Both drivers were wounded in the attack. One of the drivers, a male in his 30s subsequently died on the scene while the other victim, also a 35-year-old man, was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment with private transport," said police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk.

Safety of drivers

Police could not confirm if any of the injured victims that had been hospitalised since Wednesday had succumbed to their injuries. No arrests had been made yet, added Van Wyk.

Mitchell attributed the violence to a conflict between rival taxi "mother bodies", CATA and Codeta, which ended the lives of seven taxi operators.

Mitchell said a meeting would take place with members of Codeta, Cata and Santaco on Thursday.

Codeta's Andile Khanyi confirmed the association would be meeting with Mitchell and other associations.

He said that taxi operations in some areas, such as Khayelitsha, had been halted to ensure the safety of drivers.

"During the meeting, we hope to resolve the issue of the killings. We told drivers they must halt [operations]. It's only drivers being targeted at this stage. But drivers are very important, both to their families and to the taxi commuters, and that is why the taxi owners called a halt," he said.

Khanyi added that he was unsure of the reason for the shooting, saying that disputes over routes would usually target taxi bosses instead of drivers.

READ | Driver wounded in another Western Cape taxi shooting

CATA spokesperson Mandla Hermanus said the association was "saddened by the continued violence plaguing the taxi industry in the Western Cape, specifically, the conflict between CATA and Codeta".

"We urge government to take every step possible to prevent further bloodshed and to restore calm," he said.

Hermanus attributed the violence to "the violent uprooting of CATA Boland in Paarl, by Codeta aligned Paarl Alliance".

"We condemn all acts of violence by any operator and we urge law enforcement agencies to follow any leads that may lead to the arrest of the perpetrators," he said.

"CATA is unable to resume services, without guaranteed security for both the operators and our passengers. We urge SAPS to deploy officers at all the affected routes to ensure the safety of the commuters."

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