Black day for Blackheath after killing of taxi chairperson
Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela has instructed officials from his department to meet with the leadership of the South African National Taxi Association to bring calm to the Blackheath area after a local taxi association leader and another man were shot dead there within minutes of each other.
Patrick Consani, 49, chairperson of Blackheath-Malibu Taxi Association, was shot and killed in front of his house at 6.04am on Tuesday, and a 24-year-old man was shot and killed in his car in Butskopp Road, opposite the petrol filling station, at 6.13am.
Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said two murder cases had been registered for investigation.
“The motive for both shootings is currently unknown,” Van Wyk said.
A family member of Consani, who did not want to be named, said she was also in the taxi industry and feared for her life.
“I don’t know what will happen to me and my family. We live in fear,” she said.
Madikizela said the Blackheath-Malibu area had been plagued with route invasions by illegal operators in the past, which has caused flare-ups of violence and sporadic clashes between taxi associations and operators.
He appealed to the police to fast-track the investigation and bring the shooters to book.
“We will not tolerate illegal operations and route invasions and will work closely with the police and other law enforcement authorities to rid the minibus taxi industry of the criminals behind these callous acts.
“My department and I are encouraged by the recent arrests of suspected hit men behind taxi-related killings by the police’s integrated taxi task team,” Madikizela said.
“We hope that these apprehensions will lead to the arrest and conviction of those unscrupulous leaders who have masterminded and paid for these heinous crimes.”
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said one of the biggest causes of such deaths was a spate in available guns with 171 of the murders being by gunshot.
He said the Western Cape Government remained committed to working with various stakeholders, including neighbourhood watches, Community Police Forums and other structures to build safer communities.@SISONKE_MD