Emergency talks under way after multiple taxi shootings in Cape Town
Conflict, allegedly between rival taxi groups Cata and Codeta, cost the lives of seven people in separate incidents in the City of Cape Town on Wednesday morning, the Western Cape transport department said.
This brings the total number of taxi-related murders in the Western Cape to 71 since the start of the year, with attempted murders and injuries at 33 over the same period.
Provincial transport minister Daylin Mitchell, and officials from the transport and community safety departments, are attending an emergency meeting of the Transport Priority Committee with the SAPS and other enforcement and intelligence authorities, aimed at restoring calm and bringing the perpetrators to book.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said while detectives are probing the circumstances surrounding the shootings, additional uniformed members have been deployed on taxi routes to maintain law and order and provide safety to commuters.
The transport department did not give a breakdown but those listed by Van Wyk are:
- A 41-year-old taxi driver was behind the steering wheel of his vehicle on the corners of De la Rey Road and Uitsig Avenue in Ravensmead when occupants from another taxi fired several gunshots at the taxi. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital. Ravensmead police are investigating a case of attempted murder.
- A taxi was stationary in Potsdam Road, Dunoon, at about 7am. The victim was seated inside the vehicle when unknown suspects fired shots at the vehicle. A 35-year-old male was fatally wounded and declared deceased on the scene. Table View Police are investigating a case of murder.
- At about 6.30am, a taxi with occupants was standing at the intersection of New Eisleben and Sheffield Roads in Philippi East when another taxi with unknown occupants stopped next to them. The occupants fired numerous gunshots at the stationary vehicle. Two men males aged 33 and 24 were declared dead on the scene, while two men both aged 35 were transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. Philippi East police are investigating two cases of murder and attempted murder.
- At about 8.15am, commuters were standing on Duinefontein Road in Samora Machel. Unknown occupants in a vehicle fired numerous gunshots at the commuters and fled the scene. One 40-year-old man was declared dead on the scene by the medical personnel, while two men aged 45 and 39 sustained gunshot wounds and were transported to a nearby hospital. Samora Machel police are investigating a case of murder and two cases of attempted murder.
Arrests are yet to be made.
Mitchell said: “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.
“I have also called the leadership of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco), the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) to an urgent meeting, where we will discuss interventions to stem the growing tide of violence between associations affiliated to the two mother bodies — with specific focus on violence associated with the fight for control over routes.”