Minister Mitchell calls on NPA to prioritise extortion cases
Media release by Daylin Mitchell, Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works
I call on the National Prosecuting Authority to prioritise cases of extortion against members of the minibus taxi industry in the Western Cape.
My Department has been inundated with complaints from ehailing operators and private victims of extortion who have been harassed by minibus taxi operators and have had their vehicles impounded when they operate in certain communities and at some shopping malls.
I have recently engaged the ehailing and minibus taxi industry leadership and asked that they condemn these criminal acts by their members.
These acts are criminal and I will use all legal avenues available to me to bring these actions to an end. When people linked to the taxi industry are involved in criminal acts such as extortion, intimidation and murder, my Department plays a clear supporting role to the SAPS and the NPA, whose mandate it is to ensure that the rule of law is applied.
We have therefore escalated all reports of these serious crimes to the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority with the request that these cases be prioritised.
If any association or operator registered with the Provincial Taxi Registrar is found guilty of such a criminal act in a Court of Law, the Registrar and the Provincial Regulatory Entity may act to de-register such associations or operators and withdraw operating licences of individual owners.
As the Minister responsible for the regulation of transport in the province, I will not allow a criminal few to hold the transport system to ransom. Commuters have a right to choose transport of their choice and not to be harassed and intimidated when they choose to use public transport modes and forms which do not suit a selfish few who are protecting their vested interests.
Leaders of the minibus taxi industry must come out strongly against the ongoing criminal acts of extortion by their members. This is enough. Extortion will no longer be tolerated.
Extortion can be reported on 086 001 0111.
Spokesperson for Minister Daylin Mitchell
Cell: 082 953 0026