High-level talks between government and taxi bosses continue in Cape Town in an effort to end the deadly violence. An independent mediator is meeting with warring taxi associations, Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata), and Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta).
Since the beginning of the month at least 23 people have been killed in the ongoing feud.
Weeks ago feuding taxi associations agreed to a ceasefire. However, the killings continued. Twenty-one-year-old Okuhle James was caught in the crossfire this week in Khayelitsha.
Her family is appealing to authorities to end the deadly conflict and has lost all hope in the transport sector. Her father Mthobeli James is struggling to come to terms with their loss.
“We are very devastated in this house, I don’t want to think about this because once I start to think about it I am starting to even shake because I know I can’t really tell you because of the way this thing it’s devastating us and this house now it will never be the same now that Okuhle is not around.”
Authorities have warned that they will have to act decisively to deal with the feud if taxi associations cannot find an agreement among themselves.
Western Cape transport authorities consider closing taxi ranks:
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula attended the meeting. He says while the discussions with taxi bosses are ongoing a lasting solution has to be found.
“We are giving them also an opportunity to go back and report the options on the table but we will have to take a decision at some point about what needs to happen but we are giving peace a chance they too they must understand that we are giving them a chance but with what is happening and the killing of the people we cannot go on government must make a decision.”
The deadly shootings pertain to certain routes. Amid the negotiations yet another taxi driver was gunned down in Mfuleni.
Police spokesperson, Joseph Swartbooi says: “Upon arrival police members found a 28-year-old man who sustained gunshot wounds. A 35-year-old man was declared deceased on the scene, whilst the 28-year-old victim was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. The unknown suspects who shot at the occupants of the vehicle fled the scene and are yet to be arrested.”
Since the beginning of the year, 82 people have been killed in the ongoing taxi violence in the province. Its hoped that an agreement will be reached soon.
Negotiations between government, taxi associations, and independent mediators continue.