Latest shooting not related to taxi wars, says Codeta
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Cape Town - The Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) has assured commuters that the latest shooting of a taxi driver at the Joe Slovo taxi rank in Milnerton is not related to the recent taxi violence.
The driver, a member of Ysterplaat Taxi Association, which is a Codeta affiliate, was gunned down at about 1pm on Tuesday along Freedom Way.
According to police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi, Milnerton police who are investigating a case of murder found the body of the 56-year-old man on his back with gunshot wounds to his face and chest.
“The unknown suspects fled and are yet to be arrested. The motive for the attack is possibly taxi related. The victim was declared dead on the scene by the medical personnel,” he said.
In another Milnerton incident, a taxi driver wearing a bulletproof vest was arrested just after 5am on Tuesday for the possession of an unlicensed 9mm Norinco pistol and five rounds of ammunition.
The 48-year-old man was apprehended after his vehicle was pulled over during a police and metro police joint roadblock.
Metro police spokesperson Ruth Solomons said that while interviewing the driver, they noticed he was wearing a bulletproof vest and had a firearm holster on his side.
When the taxi driver was asked whether he had a firearm in his possession, he allegedly confirmed that he did, but couldn’t produce a licence for it.
The two incidents come after Codeta and rival taxi association, the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata), apologised to commuters and grieving families on Monday, and a peace agreement was signed in the presence of Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and MEC Daylin Mitchell in the hopes of ending the deadly conflict.
Codeta secretary Lesley Sikuphela said that after engaging with the Ysterplaat Taxi Association chairperson, they were certain the shooting was an isolated incident.
“Two months back another member of this association was shot and killed so it seems like there was ongoing infighting. Hence we rubbished claims that it is related to the recent taxi violence. We are committed to regaining commuter trust and are committed to the peace deal we signed,” said Sikuphela.
Taxi services operated only a limited service for the past three weeks as Cata and Codeta were at loggerheads over the closed B97 route, which runs between the Mbekweni taxi rank and the Bellville taxi rank.
An arbitration process is still under way to decide which organisation is legally allowed to operate on the B97 route.
Meanwhile Mitchell and Mbalula assessed the contingency measures in place in Paarl on Tuesday.
"We visited the area to ensure there is a sufficient alternative mode of transport for commuters. Prasa has informed us they increased their train sets on this railway line, the Northern Line, to about 45 trains. No commuters must be left behind.”