CAPE TOWN – Twenty-three taxis drivers associated with Cape Amalgamated Taxi Associations (Cata) have been arrested for attempted murder and will appear at the Bellville Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
Police impounded eight of their taxis after they fired several gunshots at members of the Delft Taxi Association (Deta) on Tuesday.
Police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk said the arrested drivers fired shots in the direction of the rank in Main Road.
Three of the suspects were shot and wounded and two illegal firearms were seized, said Van Wyk.
Tension between the taxi rivals has been ongoing for three weeks, resulting in the death and injury of a Cata taxi driver and a Golden Arrow Bus Services driver.
The violence has left thousands of commuters stranded after Cata suspended its services in Nyanga, Delft, Wynberg, Claremont and at the Cape Town station deck this week due to the violence.
Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwyn Dyke-Beyers said services at Nyanga bus terminus were suspended when taxi drivers chased buses away. She said a bus driver was hospitalised when a bus was stoned.
Cata chairperson Victor Wiwi said the tension was a result of Deta not being willing to share the Delft route. “They chased our drivers and shot them. We have been quiet for long. We decided not to operate, in protest of what Deta is doing.”
Deta chairperson Nazeem Daniels said the violence needed to stop and urged law enforcement to act.
He said on Tuesday his members survived when Cata drivers ambushed them and fired gunshots.
“We had to duck and hide, but we survived. Cata does not belong on this route and we are not going to be bullied,” said Daniels.
Transport MEC Donald Grant said he would place a notice in the Government Gazette to declare the Delft area “a high risk area for public transport”.
Commuter Andiswa Mdleleni, 39, said she had not been to work since Tuesday because of the lack of transport.
Cape Times/Independent Online
PHOTO: Police stand guard at Delft taxi rank after shootings left two dead. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Media