Calm has returned to Korsten in Gqeberha after the violent clashes between taxi operators and foreign national shop owners. During the clashes eight taxis and two vehicles were set alight. A meeting was mediated between the two parties to iron out their differences.The two groups have agreed to work together to strengthen their relationship.
A collision between a car and a taxi was the spark ignited the explosion of violence. It’s alleged the shop owners were defending the driver of the car who was allegedly assaulted by the taxi driver.It escalated rapidly from there. The minister of police, Bheki Cele, also flew in to Gqeberha, a day later to assess the situation.
UPDATE | Taxi violence in Gqeberha:
Mediator Dr Raj Govender says as part of the recommendations the two groups have agreed to form a joint task team.
“The task team will be mandated firstly to issue a press statement informing the different constituencies that the matter has been resolved between the two parties. They will allow the police to take the legal prescripts into place so that they can investigate and find solutions to the problems that emanated in Durban Road. And they will also encourage all their constituencies that all further attempts of any violence or unsavory social activity must stop. And the warrying groups will work together going forward.”
Three foreign-owned shops were also petrol-bombed in KwaZakhele and Zwide later during Wednesday evening, but it has not been established if those are linked to Durban Road incident.
NMB Regional Taxi Council General Secretary, Andile Andries, says they welcome the resolutions taken at the meeting.
“In our view, as the taxi industry, we have seen this thing has a potential of spreading across the country hence we said it is very important for us to meet so that we engage, we discuss around the issue so we avoid the spreading of this issue.”
Shaid Mohammed from the Somali Community says they have reached an agreement to visit the victims of the violence and find ways to compensate each other for damages to promote social cohesion.
“To see what damages or whatever the loss so that we all go together and look for compensation. The other issue was that we need to speak with our people, especially the taxi drivers and our community encourage them not to do such violence again.”
Counselling for victims has also been recommended. The two parties have called on the public to refrain from circulating fake images on social media about the incident as it has the potential to incite further violence.