Ekurhuleni taxi feud flops into a finger-pointing fiasco

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

The Ekurhuleni Regional Taxi Council has blamed Gauteng's transport MEC, Ignatius Jacobs for taxi violence in the province and yesterday called on him to close all disputed routes.

The group said closing the routes that have caused the bloodletting of the past few months would show he was willing to stop the violence.

The council said in an exclusive interview with Sowetan yesterday that Jacobs did not care about their wellbeing and had always told operators to sort out their own problems.

"The MEC must disarm these people. It must be difficult for them to survive so that they learn the value of life and of money," said Simon Magagula of ERTC.

He said a number of orders from the Johannesburg high court had instructed the MEC to act, "but not even that shook him".

Magagula also pointed a finger at the police and said they were not doing enough to arrest the killers involved in the shootings.

Mahlangu said police knew the killers and only had to arrest them.

He said the conflict between Greater Germiston Taxi Association and Lethabong Taxi Association over the Germiston route had claimed too many lives for the council to sit idly by and watch the mayhem.

"We do not have the resources or power to stop the violence. We have called one meeting after another, but associations do not want to adhere to the decisions we take," he said.

Mahlangu said laws gave the MEC the power to resolve all taxi conflicts in the province, but he was not doing anything.

"Instead he just sits at the table and tells us that we have to stop killing each other," said Mahlangu.

Last week three people were injured in a shooting on the disputed Germiston route.

The feud is believed to be between the Edenvale Taxi Association and Greater Germiston Taxi Association, which fall under the ERTC.

Peter Mashego of the ERTC questioned the logic behind awarding the same route to two associations. He said this decision by the registrar had compounded the violence .

He pleaded with the MEC to act far more robustly in dealing with the violence.