Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape has raised concerns with the low conviction rates in taxi violence-related cases and is calling on the South African Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority to brief the standing committee on the issue.
This is as tributes continue to pour in for slain taxi boss, Mzoxolo Dibela, one of the leaders of the Codeta taxi association and Santaco council in the Western Cape.
Dibela’s lifeless body was found at Monwabisi beach, Khayelitsha, on Monday, January 17.
“Following the murder of Codeta’s leader, Mzoxolo Dibela, the stability of the taxi industry and the safety of commuters must be the priority of all stakeholders. This is why I will be inviting the South African Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority to urgently brief the Standing Committee,” said DA Western Cape spokesperson on Transport and Public Works, Ricardo Mackenzie.
According to Mackenzie, out of the 651 reported taxi-related crimes between January 1, 2018 and July 27, 2021, only 168 had resulted in arrests, of which half had made it to the court roll.
Mackenzie further noted that only nine cases resulted in convictions, resulting in a conviction rate of 5.3%.
By the end of July 2021, 86 people had been murdered due to taxi-related violence, as well as 66 attempted murders cases and 63 taxi-related crimes, including intimidation, extortion, conspiracy to commit murder and the possession of firearms, had been reported.
“The issue of conviction rates is something that cannot be ignored. Criminals must be held responsible, and justice served for the communities and loved ones affected by taxi violence.
“This is why it is of absolute importance that SAPS and the NPA update us on the current situation. We need to know what is being done and what the solutions are, to ensuring the safety of commuters and operators.
“For our roads to be safe and for those who have lost loved ones because of taxi-related violence to have closure, justice needs to be seen to be carried out.
“The criminal justice system must be supported and capacitated as far as possible so that it can carry out this exceptionally critical work,” he said.