Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela has reaffirmed the police’s commitment to working hard in addressing the deficiencies flagged in the report by the Commission of Inquiry into Taxi Violence in Gauteng.
The report that was released on Thursday found that the Gauteng Taxi Violence Task team was severely under-resourced.
It also faced serious challenges including poor investigative work which led to the withdrawal of cases due to insufficient evidence.
The report found that some South African Police Services (SAPS) members were involved in acts of corruption including bribery and extortion and others in taxi operations and violence.
Mawela says interventions have been made and they are turning the corner.
“The task teams across all districts reporting under the Provincial Organised Crime Investigating Unit, have since been beefed up with management ensuring a multi-disciplinary configuration of the teams. At the same time, those members who were found wanting were removed from the team. To further ensure that the integrity of the team is upheld, regular screening, lifestyle audits and other integrity tests have commenced and are set to become the order of the day,” says Gauteng Police Spokesperson Mathapelo Peters.
The Gauteng Provincial Government released the Commission of Inquiry into taxi violence findings on Thursday:
The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) and the National Taxi Alliance say they have taken note of the report.
The inquiry was set up in September 2019 following a spate of taxi related violence in the province. The report notes that between November and December of 2019, more than 12 people were shot and killed with high calibre weapons by hired gunmen during taxi-related violence in Gauteng.
It recommends among others that the new police Taxi Violence Unit move with speed to conclude all 505 outstanding taxi violence-related case dockets that have not been finalised due to poor investigations.
The National Taxi Alliance says it is studying the report and seeking legal advice.
SANTACO’s Bafana Mahlangu says they hope the report’s recommendations will be acted upon
“We welcome the report from the Taxi Commission inquiry. We believe this is not just going to be a report, announcements and it ends there, we hope there’s going to be action on the recommendations that are on the report,” says Mahlangu.
The video below reports on taxi industry killings being on the rise: