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Madikizela to appoint mediator over ongoing Paarl taxi violence

The MEC said officials were receiving regular updates on the mediation process and he was encouraged by the team's recent breakthroughs in getting parties around the table.

Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN – Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela on Wednesday said he instructed his department to appoint a mediator to put an end to ongoing taxi violence in Paarl.

Madikizela said officials were receiving regular updates on the mediation process and he was encouraged by the team's recent breakthroughs in getting parties around the table.

They were initially resistant to the mediation process.

The conflict between rival taxi associations in the Paarl community of Mbekeni resulted in the deaths of seven taxi drivers and operators over the past two months.

Madikizela said the mediator was tasked with engaging in a process to uncover the root causes of the violence before making recommendations towards a lasting peace pact.

“I don’t want to react to rumours and speculation about the cause of this violence, which is why I have sourced professionals to get to the bottom of it and I call upon everyone to give this a chance,” he said.

He said while there were warnings about the closure of some taxi ranks and routes in the area, which would adversely impact the majority of residents, he would only consider such drastic measures as an absolute last resort if police and his officials found the lives of commuters were at risk.