This is according to deputy secretary general of the South African National Taxi Alliance (Santaco), Bafana Magagula, following yet another shootout between taxi operators, which left one person dead in Evaton, south of Johannesburg yesterday.
“If only the police can do their work by arresting perpetrators of violence and stop negotiating with criminals, then something could be done to curb further violence,” said Magagula.
“Violence in the taxi industry seem to be accepted and ignored by our government leaders…if an American tourists get killed in South Africa, Government will be quick to respond by appointing a police team to investigate and within no time, somebody will be arrested and brought to book, but when it comes to the taxi industry, it is a totally different story.”
Magagula said when violence erupted in Mamelodi in recent weeks, where one of the Autopax buses were stoned, Gauteng MEC Ismail Vadi did not waste time in condemning the incident.
“However, when there is violence in the taxi industry, nothing really happens and no one from government speak out,” he said.
Magagula accused some police officers of taking bribes from violent taxi operators, adding that the violence in the industry will never end, until perpetrators are arrested and prosecuted.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s fatal shootout happened at around 7am next to the Evaton Mall, along the Golden Highway, according to an eyewitness who did not want to be named.
“The guy who was shot dead, was crossing the road, coming to buy cigarretes when he was shot by men who were carrying what looked like AK 47 guns.
According to Gauteng police spokesman, Katlego Mogale, the deceased was 57 years old.
“It is alleged that an unknown vehicle approached and fired shots at at eight taxi owners’ vehicles which were parked at a four way stop on the Golden Highway.
“Eleven vehicles were shot at, including a taxi that was passing by with passengers inside,” said Mogale.
She said the six suspects fled the scene. Six injured people were taken to hospital for medical attention.
“Investigations have been launched to ascertain the motive for the shooting and as to how many suspects there were,” she said.
Mogale called on those who claim that some police officers are involved in the perpetuation of taxi violence to come forward, so that the police can deal with them accordingly.