High-level talks to open in Western Cape after deadly wave of taxi shootings
Taxi associations and the Western Cape Transport MEC are preparing to meet Thursday to try to shed light on a wave of shootings in the province.
- Taxi associations are due to meet with MEC Daylin Mitchell of Western Cape Transport on Thursday.
- Seven people have been killed in taxi violence this week.
- The violence had been attributed to a dispute over a Paarl taxi line.
Taxi associations are meeting with the Western Cape government on Thursday to try to shed light on a wave of deadly shootings in the province.
There have been 71 taxi-related killings in the Western Cape since the start of the year.
READ | Four injured in another Western Cape taxi shootout
Seven taxi drivers were killed in a series of shootings on Wednesday, allegedly due to fighting between taxi associations, Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta), MEC said. Daylin Mitchell at Western Cape Transport.
Police in the Western Cape, however, have only confirmed four people died and five others were injured in the series of gunshots on Wednesday.
Police confirmed another death and injury near the Robert Sobukwe Drive taxi rank on Thursday.
âAn unknown suspect fired several shots at two passing taxis. Both drivers were injured in the attack. One of the drivers, a man in his 30s, later died at the scene while the other victim, also a 35-year-old man, was taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment with private transport, âsaid police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk.
Police could not confirm whether any of the injured victims hospitalized since Wednesday succumbed to their injuries. No arrests have yet been made, Van Wyk added.
Mitchell attributed the violence to a conflict between the “parent bodies” of rival taxis, CATA and Codeta, which ended the lives of seven taxi operators.
Mitchell said a meeting would be held with members of Codeta, Cata and Santaco on Thursday.
Andile Khanyi from Codeta confirmed that the association will meet with Mitchell and other associations.
He said taxi operations in some areas, such as Khayelitsha, had been halted to ensure the safety of drivers.
âDuring the meeting, we hope to resolve the issue of the murders. We told the drivers that they must stop [operations]. Only drivers are targeted at this stage. But drivers are very important, both to their families and to taxi commuters, and that’s why taxi owners have called for stopping, âhe said.
Khanyi added that he was unsure of the reason for the shooting, saying that disputes over routes have generally been aimed at taxi bosses rather than drivers.
READ | Driver injured in another Western Cape taxi shootout
CATA spokesperson Mandla Hermanus said the association was “saddened by the continued violence in the taxi industry in the Western Cape, in particular the conflict between CATA and Codeta”.
“We urge the government to take all possible measures to prevent further bloodshed and restore calm,” he said.
Hermanus attributed the violence to the “violent uprooting of CATA Boland from Paarl, by the Paarl Alliance aligned with Codeta”.
“We condemn all acts of violence committed by any operator and we urge the police to follow any lead that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators,” he said.
“CATA is unable to resume services, with no guarantee of safety for both operators and our passengers. We urge SAPS to deploy agents on all affected routes to ensure the safety of commuters.”
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