“There were gunshots, the driver ran for his life but some of guys from vehicle that attacked the taxi, ran after him and fired 16 bullets and he was killed. Two people in the taxi were shot and one of them was a scholar.” A 24-year-old young man from Delft, who wishes to remain anonymous, describes how was caught in the crossfire last week Friday morning (04 October) while he was on his way to work. The incident happened few metres away from the Delft Police Station.
“After the shooting police came and we were all taken to the police station for counselling and statements . I was confused after it all happened so I just decided to leave for work because I was getting late for work.”
“I was lucky because I didn’t get hit by any bullet. I just wish taxi drivers could understand that this(taxi violence) does not only affect them, it also affects innocent people because when they shoot they don’t point to the driver only. They shoot at the taxi and this put passengers and pedestrians in danger of getting shot. I wish they could erase the thoughts of being taxi drivers and think like human beings”
Thousands of South Africans rely on the taxi industry for transport. This industry is full of greedy taxi owners and this leads to thousands of people losing their lives in taxi related shootings. For over a decade the taxi industry has been faced with conflicts and one of the causes is the rise of taxi associations that are constantly fighting over ownership of routes. This is a national problem and the Western Cape is no exception.
Between February 2010 and June 2012, the Western Cape province experienced a period of absolute peacefulness and stability. But this changed when the taxi shootings erupted between Delft, Nyanga and Khayelitsha on the 9th of August . The conflict is over ownership of certain routes and at least five people have been killed in the past three months.
This has been going on for quite some time and innocent people are getting killed, children lose their parents and some families lose breadwinners. Violence seems to be the way people solve things in this country. Innocent blood gets spilled over petty issues that could be easily resolved without turning to violence.
This mainly affects students and workers that travel by taxi to school and work. As lightly as many people make this problem seem, it’s big and can happen to anyone.
Just imagine your mother or sister leaving for work and not returning alive because some stray bullet hit her and killed her while on the taxi.
People at the forefront of these violent attacks are the taxi drivers. They kill one another while the owners they are fighting on behalf of are safe in their houses with their families. Taxi violence seems to have resurfaced and government needs to intervene and the community at large, needs to stop it by uniting against taxi violence.