SA courts accused of playing a role in taxi violence

The committee said associations feuding over a route are granted court orders to operate in the same area.

FILE: The committee said associations feuding over a route are granted court orders to operate in the same area. Picture: Faizel Patel/EWN.

JOHANENSBURG - KGauteng's Portfolio Committee on Roads and Transport has accused South Africa's courts of playing a role in fueling taxi violence, through the awarding of court orders to associations.

The committee said there have been cases where rival associations feuding over a route are both granted court orders to operate in the same area.

The legislature said such actions further fuel disagreements about the rightful operation of routes.

Officials are working on a report that will outline interventions for the taxi industry and hopefully see an end to violence.

Committee chairperson Jacob Khawe has called on law enforcement agencies, including the South African Police Services (SAPS), to act responsibly.

"We're going to engage with the NPA because most of the taxi associations use court orders and you find that two taxi associations operate in the same route, both of them have court orders allowing them to operates there and we think that doesn't help."

Meanwhile, the committee called on police to strengthen their intelligence operations against violence in the taxi industry.

The legislature is expected to release a report in September, outlining solutions for the volatile industry.

Officials have urged taxi operators and drivers to allow the committee to do its work and refrain from entering into their own informal agreements.

Khawe said these verbal agreements often end in violence when contravened by either party.

He has called for the SAPS play a stronger role in identifying areas and individuals of concern.

"We call on the department to deal with individuals who are corrupt, who have actually issued out permits illegally and fraudulently."

TAXI BOSS KILLED

KwaZulu-Natal police said a taxi boss has been shot dead in a drive-by shooting while travelling with his 15-year-old daughter near Port Shepstone.

Mlungisi Ngcobo was the deputy chairman of the Zamokuhle taxi association operating long-distance routes.

Last week, the association won a court order forcing its rival, Sonke, to stop operating from a taxi rank in Durban.

The Sonke taxi association is chaired by President Jacob Zuma's nephew Mfundo Gcaba.

He's been accused of causing tensions between the two associations.

The police's Thulane Zwane said, "A 38-year-old man was shot and killed while he was driving in Kokstad."