Big task for taxi killings inquiry

Modise Sojane, acting chief director at the department of transport. /ANTONIO MUCHAVe
Modise Sojane, acting chief director at the department of transport. /ANTONIO MUCHAVe

Lack of prosecutions and limited capacity of police dealing with taxi killings are the reasons why taxi violence has escalated in Gauteng.

This is according to Modise Sojane, the Gauteng department of roads and transport's acting chief director for registration and operating licensing.

He was testifying at the Commission of Inquiry into Taxi Violence in Parktown yesterday.

Sojane said: "The provincial taxi task team of the SAPS has a severely limited capacity but nevertheless, an effective tool of dealing with areas that have spiralled out of control and therefore it is able to deal with matters in a decisive manner.

"Lack of prosecution in relation to taxi-related deaths often leads to the strengthening of those who commit these crimes, but there has been success with some cases."

The commission of inquiry set up by premier David Makhura to establish the underlying causes of taxi killings, is chaired by retired judge Jeremiah Buti Shongwe, assisted by Rudolph Lungile Mabece and Hlula Msimang.

Sojane said inkabi (hitmen) further destabilised the peace in the taxi industry.

A police officer attached to the taxi violence unit told Sowetan even when they arrest the hitmen, it was difficult to find out who ordered the hit.

"These guys would rather die than tell... But, to be fair, they themselves don't know who ordered a hit because there is a middleman who hires them," the officer said.

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