Sat Oct 22 01:54:05 CAT 2016

Death's whisper in a deadly taxi is your breath

By unknown | May 10, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

On Tuesday Sowetan ran an article about a wreck of a taxi under the headline, A Moving Coffin, and to emphasise its importance, plugged it on page 1.

In our editorial comment yesterday we asked how taxi operators justified keeping such death traps on the road.

Well, apart from the sickening fact that such vehicles as the West Rand's mother- of-all-mobile-wrecks are allowed on the road by corrupt officials, South Africa's taxi and bus industry is a horror story. We all know that.

And, as many will concur, the main actors in this horror story are black.

Horror is synonymous with terror, meaning that the majority of the millions of taxi commuters are prone to being horrified or horror-struck or terrified most of the time.

I use this vexing taxi issue to illustrate how blacks, who are in the majority, seem to be paralysed by what horrifies and terrifies us. Yes, we easily accept calamity as a necessity and not an irritant.

No, I am not suggesting that we are cowards.

But why, you might ask, do commuters willingly enter the lion's den when they know that chances of arriving safely at their destinations could be nil?

Also, the fatal shooting of a taxi driver at the crowded Bree Street taxi rank in Johannesburg recently has raised no more than the usual "It was shocking" comments from those who had to dodge the bullets.

What happened to the shooter? Why are we still using that rank when we know we are sitting ducks in a senseless taxi war that knows no boundaries?

All we should do is vote on our feet and refuse to get into these taxis until we know our lives are not at risk.

Just think, how many children have been orphaned, women widowed and men have waited in vain for their wives to return from work?

I have already alluded to our collective paralysis, our complacency.

Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula referred to this as whingeing and was verbally lynched because he later went abroad where he said sorry to potential investors.

Well, I am talking not about the minister's type of whingers, those he nearly sent packing Down Under for complaining about crime.

I refer to the government-bashers, those blacks who are so vocal in criticising the ANC government to the point of hoarseness.

The ANC was voted into power in 1994 and again in the past two elections.

I tell you that these black brothers and sisters can shout about rampant corruption, fat cats, crime, slow service delivery or whatever, to hell and back.

Meanwhile, the ANC will remain snugly in power until the next general poll, which they are tipped to win.

And, who knows, maybe it's you and me who vote them back each time.

So, why do it if you do not want to feed the fat cats through your vote?

Get off the deadly minibus.

It is your right.


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