Behave or we'll close you down‚ Cele tells Western Cape taxi bosses

25 June 2018 - 09:35 By Dave Chambers
Bheki Cele. File photo.
Bheki Cele. File photo.

A dedicated team of detectives will be set up to investigate taxi violence in the Western Cape‚ says police minister Bheki Cele.

“As government we need to rise and protect the vulnerable. We cannot allow a situation of bloodshed and lawlessness on our roads. The full might of the law will be felt and heard in all corners‚” Cele said after a crisis meeting in Cape Town on Sunday.

At least 13 people have been killed in a spate of taxi violence in the Western Cape‚ including three commuters‚ and Cele warned that taxi ranks and operations would be shut down if the violence continued.

He met taxi bosses on Sunday with his deputy‚ Bongani Mkongi‚ deputy transport minister Sindiswe Chikunga and Western Cape MECs Dan Plato (community safety) and Donald Grant (transport).

On Monday‚ Cele pledged that “stabilisation and normalisation” would be restored. “Government’s approach must be tough in enforcing the law on behalf of the weak and vulnerable citizens of the country‚” said his spokesman‚ Reneilwe Serero.

“Route invasions”‚ regulatory failure and illegal operators are said to be driving the violence.

Said Cele: “Saturation of routes need to be looked into and clarified by government‚ hijacking of taxi routes by association needs to be corrected. Police must be seen doing their job and arresting perpetrators‚ it can’t happen that you kill someone and go home to sleep.”