...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Police Minister Bheki Cele’s Visit to Crime Hotspot in KwaZulu-Natal
Police Minister Bheki Cele visited a crime hotspot in KwaZulu-Natal where most taxi violence-related murders have occurred.
Accompanied by Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mkhwanazi, taxi owners, and traditional leaders, the visit was part of efforts to resolve ongoing taxi violence and murders happening in the area.
This was followed by a Ministerial taxi violence stakeholder engagement at the Ladysmith Indoor Sports Centre.
Ongoing Taxi Violence in KwaZulu-Natal
Over the past month, several taxi owners in KwaZulu-Natal have been killed, which police claim is part of turf wars between rival taxi associations.
The Minister met the relevant stakeholders, taxi owners, and traditional leaders in Ladysmith on Monday 10 April 2023, resulting in them signing an agreement to address the ongoing violence between the taxi associations and bring peace amongst them.
Police Investigate Murder Case Related to Taxi Violence
The Provincial Taxi Violence Investigation Unit in Limpopo is currently investigating a case involving murder, attempted murder, and malicious damage to property after violence erupted on Friday 24 February 2023 at the Lebowakgomo taxi rank.
During the incident, a local taxi owner aged 69 was fatally shot, while taxis and private motor vehicles were damaged. According to witnesses, a group of unknown suspects arrived at the taxi rank on foot and began firing shots while throwing stones at the taxis.
The police and medical emergency services were alerted and arrived at the scene where the suspects had already fled.
Taxi violence is a longstanding issue in South Africa, with many deaths resulting from turf wars between rival taxi associations.
The visit by Police Minister Bheki Cele to KwaZulu-Natal is a positive step towards resolving this ongoing problem.
The engagement with stakeholders and signing of an agreement to address the violence is a promising development, but it remains to be seen if it will lead to long-term peace in the taxi industry.
The investigation into the murder case related to taxi violence highlights the severity of the issue and the need for urgent action to curb the violence.
The police must work tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice and prevent further bloodshed.