“Those who were found wanting were removed from the team,” police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said.
“The remaining members in the task teams across all districts under the provincial organised crime investigating unit had since been beefed up while management ensured a multi-disciplinary configuration of the teams.”
Peters’ remarks came shortly after Gauteng roads and transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo released the final report of the commission of inquiry into taxi violence in the province on Thursday.
“The approaches adopted by the police have encompassed prevention, combatting and investigating taxi violence.
“In support of this, Gauteng law enforcement agencies are working together as part of the intelligence-led task team put together by the commissioner across the problematic districts, especially in the metropolitans,” Peters said.
In further response to the commission’s final report on their findings, Peters said the police adopted a proactive and reactive approach following provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela’s 2019 appointment and subsequent engagements with other top brass that the commission’s evidence leaders.
Meanwhile, Mawela reaffirmed the police’s commitment to continue working hard to address the deficiencies the commission flagged to ensure the safety of commuters and the general public.
He also highlighted that their interventions had since yielded positive results.
“We have, since our interventions, observed a reduction in the incidents of taxi violence in the province, however, we can never fool ourselves into becoming complacent in our efforts to deal decisively with violent crimes,” he said.
Mawela further stated that it was imperative they did not wait for the commission’s findings, but rather continued to work towards stabilising the, at times, volatile and violent industry.
“It was important that we do not wait for the outcome of the commission of inquiry and, as such, work resumed as soon as we were alerted by the evidence leaders of the commission to some disturbing issues in our space.
“Management of the Gauteng police, together with both the national and provincial traffic police and respective metro and municipal departments will do everything in our power to ensure that violence in the taxi industry is brought to a level of stability in the best interests of commuters and the residents of Gauteng,” Mawela said.
An “in-depth” study of the final report issued by the commission was reportedly underway to ensure that its findings and recommendations were addressed “as a matter of urgency”.
During the briefing, Mamabolo, among others, said it had been found that a lack of capacity and the issue of compromised members were a challenge to the scourge of taxi conflict and violence.
This article was republished from Rekord East with permission