South Africa, Pretoria – Gauteng SAPS commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela has urged the taxi industry in the city to put an end to the violence that has claimed the lives of several operators in recent months.
Mawela told the Pretoria News that although taxi operators called on the police to help end these shootings, the industry could also play a role.
“The taxi industry knows that the hitmen are hired within the industry; and even if you arrest a hitman, another one is found to do the next job,“ he said.
“We need the violence to stop so that in 2021 we don’t have to deal with shootings.
“We do make arrests, but sometimes the prosecution can take a while. That’s why the industry may think we are not doing enough, hence we are also calling on their members to stop the violence.”
Tshwane taxi industry chairperson Piet Mahlangu said the police needed to help and urgently intervene so that 2021 was not riddled with senselessly shootings that left children growing up without parents.
He said being in the taxi industry got to a point whereby a owner or taxi operator or associate executive would leave his or her home not knowing if it was his last day alive or not.
Gauteng Traffic Police Department spokesperson Sello Maremane said many people were killed in and around busy taxi spaces like Marabastad, Mabopane Station, Steve Biko Academic Hospital and petrol stations.
Transport and Road Infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo said: “In the taxi industry the violence is an additional problem they have to deal with on top of issues of ensuring road safety and enforcing Covid-19 compliance.”
Mamabolo warned that taxi associations found guilty of resorting to violence to deal with conflict would be placed under administration and its executive committee disbanded.