Transport MEC calls for emergency meeting after seven taxi operators shot dead in Cape Town

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Taxi violence has reared its head in Western Cape.
Taxi violence has reared its head in Western Cape.
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  • Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell has called for an emergency meeting after seven people were killed in taxi-related violence.
  • The meeting is aimed at assisting officials to restore calm between two warring taxi associations.
  • Santaco said they were still not sure what the root cause of the violence was.

Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell has called for an emergency meeting with warring taxi associations after seven taxi operators were shot dead - against a backdrop of several violent incidents in the industry across the province in recent months.

The meeting was aimed at assisting role players to agree to an integrated government approach to restore calm between warring taxi associations, Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta), and to bring the perpetrators of the violence to book. 

On Wednesday, Western Cape police said four people had been killed, while five others were wounded in four separate incidents in Cape Town.

READ | Four people killed, five injured in taxi-related shootings in Cape Town

However, Mitchell said the conflict between rival taxi "mother bodies", CATA and Codeta, cost the lives of seven taxi operators.

He said:

I must emphasise that the Western Cape government will not compromise on the rule of law and my department is working closely with the SAPS as they continue with their investigations into the murders and other taxi related crimes in Cape Town and other parts of the province.

Mitchell added that he also called the leadership of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco), CATA and Codeta to an urgent meeting to discuss interventions to stem the growing tide of violence between rival associations affiliated to the two mother bodies - with specific focus on violence associated with the fight for control over routes.

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Santaco chairperson Nazeem Abdurahman told News24 they were still not sure what the root cause of the violence was, and would be finding ways to reach a middle ground between the two associations.

"We know that some members of CATA and Codeta were killed in the violence. We want to find those people who are involved and bring them to book," said Abdurahman.

Killings

"As Santaco, we condemn the killings at the taxi ranks on drivers and members of the community."

The City of Cape Town's mayoral committee for safety and security JP Smith said the City was aware of numerous incidents of violence in a number of areas around the metropole this morning, that appeared to be linked to conflict in the minibus taxi industry.

"While we are unclear as to the source of the conflict, the City pledges its full support to the operational plan led by the South African Police Service to address the issue, and bring those responsible to book," Smith said.

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The Cape Metro said it would also support the provincial transport department, where possible, to address the root cause of the conflict.

"In the interim we call on those involved to cease and desist, in the interest of the thousands of commuters who rely on the minibus taxi industry to get around," added Smith.

Mitchell said they would continue to work to ensure the rule of law would not be compromised. 

"The Department of Transport and Public Works has established a sound working relationship with the SAPS, traffic authorities, the National Prosecuting Authority and SARS to identify and address the root causes of taxi violence and murder; including illegal operations, route invasions, ineffective legislation and simple greed on the part of self-styled warlords and gatekeepers in the minibus taxi industry."

He added that the acts of lawlessness, violence and murder must be met with strong enforcement and criminal prosecution.

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