The South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Tshwane Metro Police Department have intensified deployments in the Tshwane CBD, following violent scenes of foreign owned shops being looted and destroyed during a violent protest.
A joint statement issued by the Gauteng Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo, Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, the taxi Industry in Tshwane as well as Government - said the deployment was to ensure that no further incidents of criminality occur.
Mamabolo, together with the Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, on Wednesday engaged with the City of Tshwane, as well as representatives of the taxi industry in Tshwane, following an incident on Tuesday afternoon where a taxi operator was fatally shot near the Bloed Long-Distance Taxi Rank in Pretoria.
During the meeting, taxi industry representatives tabled concerns and raised what both the MEC and Mawela believe are genuine concerns, that require urgent attention to ensure safety and security within the space in which they operate.
Government confirmed that 10 suspects were arrested for possession of suspected stolen property, while an additional seven were arrested for public violence.
The taxi industry representatives in the meeting distanced themselves from the incidents of looting that took place in the Pretoria CBD, and reiterated that there was no aggression on their part.
"We had planned for a demonstration to highlight some of our issues with the shooting of one of us, and we believe some criminal elements took advantage and exploited our plan to advance their criminal intent," said Mack Makata of SA National Taxi Council.
Mawela made a commitment that police will look into the allegations and has assured the taxi industry that feedback will be given in a short space of time.
"The taxi industry plays an integral part in the well-being of our communities so when they cry out for police attention, it is important that we respond positively and swiftly, in the best interests of the community," he said.
Mamabolo extended his condolences to the family and colleagues of the taxi operator that was fatally shot on Tuesday evening, and further urged the police to prioritise the investigation of the murder case so that the suspect can be found and taken to task. – SAnews.gov.za