KZN committee launched to curb taxi violence

A committee has been set up to deal with taxi violence in KwaZulu-Natal, provincial transport minister Willies Mchunu said on Thursday.

He said a team, made up of experts from law enforcement agencies and state security, would develop a strategy to curb taxi wars in the province.

This comes after another taxi owner was killed in Durban’s Chesterville suburb.

The minister said his calls for calm had fallen on deaf ears.

“... We need the full might of the state to descend upon the taxi industry so that anarchy may be stopped.

“Unfortunately, engagements alone have proved inadequate in an industry wrecked by fear, mistrust and the lust for blood,” he said in a statement.

The committee was tasked with looking at the intelligence capacity, early warning systems, improving arrests and prosecution levels.

“It will also look at the role of Izinkabi [hitmen] in the industry, any need for a legislative framework, and securing taxi ranks during conflicts.
The team is also to investigate the possible ban of security firms that guards taxi ranks.”

The team was expected to file a report by March 2010.

“We want a holistic strategy that talks to the detection of criminals within the industry.

“It is my view that if we deal firmly with taxi related
violence, we may in fact be reducing trio crimes [business, house robberies and murder] rapidly,” he added.—Sapa

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