South Africa: Depot Petrol Bombed As Taxi Strike Violence Escalates

At least seven vehicles were petrol bombed at the City of Cape Town’s depot in Delft last night.

The incident adds to the violent events that have taken place in various parts of Cape Town since the start of the taxi strike on Thursday.

Private cars, buses, and company-branded vehicles have been stoned and attacked with petrol bombs, creating an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.

Tragically, the strike has claimed two lives so far.

A law enforcement officer suffered more than 13 gunshot wounds when he was shot and killed in Nyanga.

A resident suffered a similar fate after succumbing to five gunshots while inside his vehicle.

JP Smith, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, expressed his concern over the extent of the damage caused at the depot.

“Vehicles belonging to different departments, including enforcement vehicles, were either damaged or completely destroyed,” he said.

He said in Atlantis, traffic officers responded to reports of public violence, leading to the arrest of six suspects who were found with a taxi loaded with tyres and implements used for starting fires.

Smith addressed the role of taxi association Santaco in the ongoing chaos.

“While Santaco has attempted to distance itself from the criminal acts witnessed in the last days, the organization should have anticipated that calling for the strike would have resulted in this chaos,” said Smith.

“This is the case every single time. They have to accept responsibility.”

Santaco has presented a list of demands to the City, prompting Smith to clarify the City’s stance.

Smith emphasized the priority of commuter and road user safety.

“It must be clear that while the City still extends its invitation for Santaco to return to the previously established task team, there can be no points of negotiations around the enforcement of national legislation,” he said.

A resident, fearing the escalation of violence, appealed for a swift resolution to the taxi strike.

“I am praying that the City and Santaco will come to an agreement so that this chaos can end. If things continue like this, soon shops will be looted and people will continue losing their vehicles and lives,” said the resident.

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