SAPS, transport department to curb taxi violence

Johannesburg - The police and Gauteng transport department are working together to fight taxi violence in the province, provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba said on Tuesday.

"The police service and the department of transport formed a committee at the beginning of the year to fight taxi violence," Mothiba told reporters in Johannesburg.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane were at the briefing.

The committee was formed because taxi violence was "multi-dimensional", Mothiba said.

"We know there are many reasons for the violence and that is why different departments need to work together."

The committee would work with municipalities to deal with matters like the issuing of operating permits for taxi drivers.

He said Gauteng was the centre of taxi violence in the country. Monday's killing of four men during taxi violence in Evaton, south of Johannesburg, was "cause for concern".

Mothiba commended the police officers who arrested the eight people allegedly responsible for the shooting. Eleven rifles and a handgun were confiscated.

Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said members of two taxi associations arrived at the Palm Springs Mall on Monday and opened fire on each other with handguns and rifles.

ER24 spokesperson Luyanda Majija said the four men, including a security guard, were already dead when paramedics arrived on the scene.

Another man sustained critical injuries and was taken to Sebokeng Hospital. Three other security guards sustained moderate injuries from an alleged assault and were taken to the Mediclinic Emfuleni.

Although Gauteng was the centre of the problem, taxi violence happened across the country, Mothiba said.

"Taxi violence is an inter-provincial conflict which moves across the provinces," he said.

"The problem started a long time ago and it goes up and down, so we need to find a long-term solution."