Minister Madikizela condemns taxi related killings
I strongly condemn the killing of four taxi operators in Nyanga last night.
The murder of the four CATA members follows an incident in the Cape Town CBD yesterday during which six people were injured when gunmen opened fire at taxis at the Cape Town Station Deck and surrounding streets. I commend the City Metro Police and the SAPS for the quick response which led to the arrest of one of the suspected gunmen and the confiscation of one of the guns used during the incident.
I have called an urgent meeting with the leaders of CATA, CODETA and the SA National Taxi Council’s (SANTACO) Western Cape Branch to express my grave concerns with regards to their inability or unwillingness to stop the senseless violence. I will also be meeting senior officials from enforcement authorities including the SAPS, Metro Police and Traffic, as well as regulatory authorities, the Provincial Taxi Registrar and the Provincial Regulatory Entity, to plan a coordinated, inter-governmental response to the violence and other crimes associated with the minibus taxi industry.
These crimes include increasing reports of extortion by criminal elements allegedly aligned to CATA and CODETA. Authorities have been inundated with complaints from staff and learner transport operators, as well as private companies, of their vehicles being stopped at ‘roadblocks’ set up by uniformed taxi industry ‘patrollers’ in marked vehicles, who impose ‘fines’ or ‘release fees’ after redirecting vehicles to the ranks that they control.
These criminal acts must be condemned and the leaders of the minibus taxi industry have a responsibility to ensure that their members operate within the law and in accordance with their constitution and signed code of conduct.
The current spate of violence and killing jeopardizes the agreements between my Department and the taxi industry leadership structure, including a financial agreement in terms of which the Department supports the leadership with meeting allowances, office space and administrative support.
The incidents of Monday 23 November brings the total number of taxi related murders in the Western Cape to 92 since the start of the calendar year, with attempted murders and injuries at 51 over the same period.
The SAPS has assigned a dedicated team of detectives to investigate taxi related crimes. This team has made good progress over the last few years, with some 120 arrests since the start 2018 and 70 cases currently on the Court rolls.