110 court cases opened in Cape taxi strike


By Sunday, at least 110 criminal cases had been opened for incidents related to the minibus taxi strike in Cape Town.

The violent strike began on Thursday at short notice and the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) announced on Sunday that the strike would continue on Monday.

By Monday morning, the road to the Cape Town International Airport was already impassable due to strikes. The N2 motorway, in the direction of the city centre, is also closed.

Several incidents of violence were reported in the Mother City this past weekend.

According to JP Smith, Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for security, a depot in Delft was bombed with a petrol bomb.

“At least seven vehicles belonging to different departments were also pelted with petrol bombs and badly damaged or completely destroyed. Three vehicles were set on fire in Makhaza,” confirms Smith.

City traffic officers also responded to reports of public violence in Atlantis on Saturday. Upon arrival, a taxi, seeing the law enforcement vehicle, made a U-turn and sped away.

The officers pursued the taxi, assisted by the police, and when the taxi was brought to a stop, officers found tires and incendiary supplies inside the car. Six suspects were arrested on various charges.

“While Santaco tried to distance itself from the criminal acts over the past five days, the organization should have expected that the call for a strike would lead to this chaos – as it does every time – and they must accept responsibility.”

Golden Arrow bus services obtained an interdict in the Cape Town High Court against Santaco on Sunday. The interdict prevents the association from intimidating, harassing, threatening or committing violence against any employee of the bus service.

This bus service has been targeted by strikers since last week along with the MyCiti bus service. Strikers shot at their buses and pelted them with stones.

RNews earlier reported that Zanikhaya Kwinana (33) was shot dead in Nyanga on Friday at 20:00 while he was carrying out patrols amid the ongoing taxi strikes in the city.

Travel warning

The United Kingdom (UK) has issued a travel warning to its residents planning to visit Cape Town. It warns tourists about the current violence and unrest due to the taxi strike and how it could compromise visitors’ safety. As the UK is one of the biggest tourism markets, this travel warning is particularly worrying, says Manny de Freitas, the DA’s shadow minister for tourism.

According to De Freitas, the strike will have a direct effect on the excellent tourism growth figures experienced in Cape Town and the Western Cape.

“Protest action in the form recently exercised by taxis could very well dramatically reduce the number of tourists visiting Cape Town and the Western Cape. This again has a negative influence on the economy of not only the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape, but also the rest of South Africa. Our economy and its recovery must be our priority above that of politics.”

The DA is going to write to Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille to request her to urgently approach her transport counterpart so that this issue is resolved as soon as possible.