A second witness at the Taxi Violence Inquiry alleges police involvement in some Gauteng taxi killings

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A witness from the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has alleged that police are involved in some of the killings in the taxi industry in Gauteng.

He says that’s the reason over 500 taxi-related murders, dating back to 2012, remain unresolved.

The same allegation was made by Santaco President, Phillip Taaibosch, on Monday.

The witness has been testifying at the Commission of Inquiry into Taxi Violence in the province at Parktown in Johannesburg.

The Commission has ruled that his name should not be used, to protect his identity.

On Monday, Taaibosch told the Commission that when taxi operators are killed, in most cases, the suspects are never found.

He alleged that the police are either involved in some of the killings or they know the perpetrators.

The witness, who followed him on the witness stand, also from Santaco, continued with the same narrative.

He testified that a senior police officer had told him that the people Santaco wanted arrested, already knew that he had reported them to police headquarters, and warned him to be careful.

He cited an example of an alleged hitman’s revelations on national television about how they work with the police, in order to back up his claim that the SAPS is involved.

“This man can be called to say who exactly was the police that you gave, because he mentioned, we give them 25% of the 400 000, he mentioned in some cases R 150 000 depending on who must we kill. He even said on air, if we find that man is with his wife, and we’ve got a chance to kill that time, unfortunately that wife is gone or the child is going to school, that man needs to be found because he’s not saying I think we’re doing it, he’s saying this is how we work, this is how we do it.”

Lucrative routes

The witness says fights over lucrative routes and leadership positions within taxi alliances are the main reasons behind the taxi violence that has plagued the province for years.

He also says Santaco does not have the statistics of those who have lost their lives due to taxi violence.

However, the Commission has recently learnt that over 500 taxi-related killings, dating back to 2012, remain unresolved.

He says taxi operators tend to form splinter groups when they fail to hold on to leadership positions in their structures.

“This is a norm in the taxi industry, they don’t want to be led, now they start causing that fight, it’s these people who are power mongers.”

The witness adds that Santaco supports the provincial government’s plans of an integrated or single ticketing transport system, as they also believe it will curb taxi violence.

The commission will sit again on Thursday.

The Manager of the Crime, Justice Information Hub at the Institute for Security Studies, Lizette Lancaster gives analyses on taxi violence in South Africa: