In response to the ongoing turf wars between Uber, Taxify and metered taxis, the police in Gauteng have set up a provincial task team last year focusing on taxi violence, and since its inception, there has been a decrease in the number of such incidents, according to Brigadier Mathapelo Peters.
She said SAPS has further increased its visibility in the areas identified as hotspots. These areas include the Gautrain stations, routes from the airport, including Kempton Park and Tshwane.
The brigadier said these interventions by the police saw a reduction in the number of occurrences of violence, but after the remains of a man believed to be a Taxify driver were found inside a burnt Taxify vehicle on Thursday evening in Sunnyside, Tshwane, police have had to “regroup and revive” the provincial task team.
A day after the driver was found in the boot of his vehicle, two metered taxis were torched in what is believed to be an act of retaliation for the killing of the Taxify driver.
The association for the metered taxis has denied responsibility for the murder.
Peters said police have made significant progress in the investigation into the case of the Taxify driver whose burnt body was found inside a vehicle, and they were confident that soon arrests would be made.
The brigadier further said the police had intensified their efforts, with officers deployed 24/7 to areas where Uber, Taxify and metered taxis are known to operate.
“We also have a joint operation centre which has been set up in both Gauteng as well as Pretoria,” she said.
She said the police had made a significant number of arrests in cases that were reported in 2017.
“But I must say that these arrests were incidents where the instigators were known. The challenge that we are having is when we do not have at least an identity or description of the suspect or instigator or even a registration number for the vehicle that they were driving,” Peters said.
She added the cases where arrests have been made are currently in court and therefore cannot provide any further details on them.