Taxi peace deal brings relief

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Members of the KwaNongoma Taxi Association and commuters have welcomed a peace deal between warring factions.

The peace agreement followed intervention by KwaZulu-Natal's Department of Transport to end violence in the association.

More than 10 people have been killed in the ongoing conflict in the last eight months.

The agreement was reached on Tuesday after a task team, initiated by the department, acted as mediator.

The department's intervention came after the killing of several association members and complaints from commuters that their lives were in danger.

The task team said all the parties showed a willingness to reach an agreement.

All factions and their members agreed that the safety of commuters should not be compromised.

In April, three people including two women street vendors, were killed when a gunman went on a shooting spree at the KwaNongoma taxi rank.

Eight others, including a six-year-old girl, suffered gunshot wounds when they were caught in the crossfire.

Last week Buhle Ndwadwe, the son of the late taxi boss Bhekumuzi "BZ" Ndwandwe, was shot dead.

Buhle had just taken ownership of a fleet of taxis from his father, who was killed in a similar manner earlier this year.

Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Bheki Cele MEC, yesterday applauded association members for striking the peace deal.

"Police investigations relating to the violence would continue and perpetrators would be prosecuted," Cele said.