In response to the recent escalation of taxi-related violence in Port St Johns, Eastern Cape, Minister of Police Bheki Cele is scheduled to visit the area on Thursday. The visit follows a tragic incident on 16 January, where a fierce gun battle erupted between two rival taxi associations from Port St Johns and Lusikisiki, resulting in the loss of six lives.
Despite the arrest of eleven suspects initially linked to the shooting, they have since been released due to insufficient evidence. The ongoing conflict has prompted concerns about public safety and the need for swift intervention to prevent further bloodshed.
New developments suggest that the feuding taxi associations have reached an agreement to cease hostilities. Minister Cele, alongside Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga and Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, is expected to engage with the South African Police Service (SAPS) management in the province. The discussion will focus on the SAPS response to the taxi disputes, aiming to address the root causes of the violence.
Police Ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba stated, “The Minister of Police, together with the Minister of Transport and the Premier of Eastern Cape, will engage the SAPS management in the province on their responses to the taxi disputes. They will also engage the community and relevant stakeholders to bring lasting solutions to the taxi-related violence.”
As the authorities work to establish peace and stability, the community and stakeholders eagerly await the outcome of these high-level discussions, hoping for an effective and sustainable resolution to the ongoing taxi-related tensions.