By Buziwe Nocuze
Cape Town communities are pleading for the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) before more lives are lost.
The city has been gripped by a wave of unrest and violence, with numerous incidents of arson, shootings, and clashes between taxi operators and government authorities.
Since Sunday night, the situation has worsened with multiple attacks reported across the city.
Taxis transporting staff members of a mall in Khayelitsha were set alight, followed by the petrol bombing of the mall.
Taxi drivers blocked roads leading to Cape Town International Airport, while private vehicles were set alight in various parts of the city.
Brigadier Novela Potelwa, the Western Cape SAPS spokesperson, stated that a substantial contingent of police officials has been deployed to address the situation.
Amid the ongoing unrest, an unfortunate incident resulted in the death of one person and three others injured.
“An individual was shot dead and three others injured after a motorist was pelted with stones on Airport Approach,” said Potelwa.
“The driver responded to the attack by firing several shots, resulting in the tragic outcome.”
The identities of the deceased person and those injured remain unknown, as investigations into murder and attempted murder cases are underway.
In another incident, an Avanza driver was killed when suspects attacked the vehicle, leaving the driver dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
The suspects fled the scene. The motive behind the attack is believed to be taxi-related.
Amid the escalating violence, a community member, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were worried about the safety of the community and access to essential services.
“It feels like we are on lockdown,” said the resident.
“We are trapped inside our houses. We can’t go outside. If things carry on like this, people who need medication are going to die because we can’t go to clinics to get our medication.”
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in the Western Cape released a statement after the meeting with government officials yesterday expressing disappointment with the outcome.
Santaco spokesperson, Nceba Enge, said they were committed to finding a solution but announced that the taxi stay-away would continue until Wednesday as they had said initially.
The City’s statement said that both the City and Provincial governments are eager to engage in further urgent discussions with Santaco to end the severe situation that impacts the taxi operators and thousands of commuters.
Pictured above: Taxi strike
Image source: Supplied