Ricochet News

ANC ECape wants special task force deployed to end Mthatha taxi violence

Mar 27, 2018
ANC ECape wants special task force deployed to end Mthatha taxi violence

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape says it deplores the loss of lives in the on-going battle between rival taxi associations in the OR Tambo District, particularly in Umtata and Libode.

This comes following a spate of shootings in the region believed to be taxi violence related in the past few weeks.

"Whilst we are not in a position to fully understand the dynamics facing the industry in the OR Tambo District and therefore limited in our capacity to delve much on the events‚ however‚ as the leader of society we have the responsibility to call for peace‚ order and stability," the party said in a statement.

"We demand the speedy arrest, trial and sentencing of those responsible for these deadly shootings, not just those who pulled the triggers, but those who ordered the attacks on rival operators. We cannot tolerate this bloodbath on our streets.

"There are also serious allegations of police involvement in the industry, and SAPS of Mthatha and surrounding areas are not acting swiftly in ending the violence based on conflict of interest. We then call for the MEC and Minister Bheki Cele to deploy a special focused team to investigate these allegations."

It added that the victims of this violence are working-class commuters.

"They already have to struggle to get to and from their work in overcrowded and often unsafe minibus taxis. It is absolutely intolerable that they should then also face death as they travel or stand in queues, as rival taxi operators open fire on each other.

"The taxi industry plays a vital part in transporting commuters to and from their homes, schools and places of work. This industry is an integral part of the economy of our country," the ANC described.

"The ANC believes it is now high time taxi operators realise that the government has a responsibility to look after the safety of all citizens of this country. The lives of innocent taxi passengers can no longer be held at ransom by feuding taxi associations.

"The ANC calls on the leadership of the two taxi ranks to resolve their differences around the table because nothing can be solved through the barrel of a gun. Taxi bosses and all the stakeholders involved must urgently find ways to communicate constructively to find solutions to their problems."