Gauteng Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo together with the Provincial Commissioner of Police, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela on Wednesday, 28 August 2019, engaged with the City of Tshwane as well as representatives of the taxi industry in Tshwane, following an incident on Tuesday afternoon where a taxi operator was fatally shot near the Bloed Long-Distance Taxi Rank in Pretoria.
The taxi industry representatives tabled their concerns and raised what both the MEC and Provincial Commissioner believe are genuine concerns, which require urgent attention to ensure safety and security within the space in which they operate.
The South African Police Service and the Tshwane Metro Police Department have since intensified deployments and will maintain a presence in the CBD to ensure that no further incidents of criminality recur. In the meantime, ten (10) suspects have been arrested for possession of suspected stolen property, while an additional seven (07) have been arrested for public violence.
The taxi industry representatives have distanced themselves from the incidents of looting that took place in the Pretoria CBD, and have reiterated on behalf of their operators that there was no aggression on their part.
“We had planned for a demonstration to highlight some of our issues with the shooting of one of us, and we believe some criminal elements took advantage and exploited our plan to advance their criminal intent,” said Mr Mack Makata of SANTACO.
Lieutenant General Elias Mawela made a commitment that police will look into the allegations and has assured the taxi industry that feedback will be given in a short space of time.
“The taxi industry plays an integral part in the well-being of our communities so when they cry out for police attention, it is important that we respond positively and swiftly, in the best interests of the community,” remarked the Provincial Commissioner.
MEC Jacob Mamabolo extended his condolences to the family and colleagues of the taxi operator that was fatally shot on Tuesday evening, and further urged the police to prioritise the investigation of the murder case so that the suspect can be found and taken to task.