IFP : KZN MEC of Transport must stop taxi violence in Kwazulu-Natal

 

Hon. Steven Moodley MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Transport

 

The IFP believes that it is of critical urgency that the KZN MEC of transport, Bheki Ntuli put an immediate end to the ongoing taxi violence in Kwazulu-Natal.

This follows the senseless killing of three commuters in an alleged taxi hit in Cato Ridge outside Durban. It is suspected that assailants ambushed a taxi yesterday afternoon at Ngeli Dam. The taxi was traveling from Durban to KwaSwayimane. The attackers opened fire allegedly using high caliber firearms, fatally wounded the taxi driver, a school learner and an infant baby. It is suspected that this latest incident is part of an ongoing feud between the two families in KwaSwayimane which has now escalated into a taxi feud in the area.

The IFP strongly condemns the shooting of innocent people who become casualties in the ongoing taxi violence through no fault of their own. Innocent, unsuspecting drivers and commuters are leaving their homes to earn a living but come under attack when the violence erupts. The beleaguered taxi industry has for far too long being plagued by violence.

We call upon the MEC of Transport to assist in restoring calm and ending the killing of innocent people. It is simply not acceptable to continue to record condolences to the bereaved families. This need not be done if the violence ends. The MEC must devise a plan with tangible solutions as clearly rhetoric has failed. The MEC must also address the issue of guns which are being used in these killings by criminals operating in the taxi industry. We urge taxi associations to advocate for peace and an end to violence by promoting dialogue as a means of resolving differences instead of resorting to violence.

The IFP believes that taxi violence should not be treated lightly but be regarded as a priority crime. It cannot be business as usual as too many people have lost their lives due to taxi violence and the lives of commuters are placed daily at risk. It is clear that local authorities have failed to come up with practical solutions to end the violence. The national and provincial authorities should urgently intervene and seek lasting and tangible solutions to end the violence.

The IFP reiterates its call for a commission of inquiry into the ongoing taxi violence. This commission should also examine the root cause of the violence and challenges faced by the industry. Issues such as taxi warlords who continue to order the killings, disputes over routes and government response towards the challenges that beset the industry should form part of the investigation.

The IFP calls upon the MEC to urgently hold an Imbizo at KwaSwayimane in order to resolve the taxi violence. We also call upon the police to work around the clock to apprehend the suspects involved in the shooting of the three people in Cato Ridge. The perpetrators must divulge the names of those who masterminded this latest killing and information about the guns used so the warlords also be brought to book.

The IFP conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families of the bereaved and wish those injured a complete and speedy recovery.

Contact:
Hon. Steven Moodley MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Transport
O83 253 2277