Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo condemns taxi violence in Joburg CBD
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Johannesburg - Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Roads infrastructure, Jacob Mamabolo, has condemned violence in the Joburg CBD after four taxis were set on fire.
He said acts of criminality should be dealt with decisively and perpetrators must be brought to book.
He made the call after four taxis taxis were set alight and several others were damaged in what is believed to be taxi violence between two taxi associations in Johannesburg
Mamabolo said he was going to meet provincial leaders of the associations on Sunday to bring peace and stability in the sector.
Mamabolo said there are allegations that there was a fight on Saturday between the two associations and this was a continuation and it is still being investigated to find the root course.
It is alleged that six other minibus taxis were damaged following skirmishes between drivers from the Witwatersrand African Taxi Association (WATA) and the Nancefield Dube West Association (Nanduwe).
No injuries have been reported and a case of malicious damage to property has been opened. Police are yet to arrest suspects, while the Provincial Investigative Unit is investigating the case.
“We condemn these acts of violence between WATA and Nanduwe as they undermine the work that our department together with the taxi industry have been doing to stabilize the province. We call on law enforcement to swiftly deal with those behind the violence,” said Mamabolo.
He said the conflict culminated from tensions over routes between the two association, according to the police, two drivers were assaulted on Friday.
“We call on the taxi industry to refrain from violence. Their leadership should take responsibility and end this,” said Mamabolo.
Mamabolo said that the province had been experiencing relative calm due to platforms that the provincial government has put in place to deal with matters of contention within the taxi industry.
“We have always advocated for negotiations as a way of dealing with conflicts amongst taxi associations. Days of solving conflict through violence are behind us here in Gauteng. This is the reason why I am extremely disappointed with the associations involved,” he said.
Mamabolo pleaded with people from Soweto to give them space to gather more information and they would give further information in due time.