Tuesday, February 09, 2010

W Cape taxi driver shot dead

There's no such thing as 'normal' competition is there? This has become less common of late but remains a feature of the taxi industry in South Africa. It is also representative of African business practices in general - shoot the competitor, don't undercut.

I'm reminded of two other cases which reinforce this point. One was the accusation from a business organisation in Gauteng who were upset that "immigrants" were selling goods cheaper (imagine!) than local South Africans in spaza shops and therefore they should be stopped. Secondly, and one which I witnessed personally, where ice-cream vendors on Camps Bay beach forced two girls distributing leaflets for a local ice-cream shop off the beach they saw as 'theirs'.

Cape Town - A taxi driver shot dead in Vrygrond, in the Western Cape, on Tuesday, is the second person killed in taxi violence in the area, the provincial transport department said.

Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said another two people had been wounded.

Carlisle said the taxi driver, from the Retreat Taxi Association, told him he had been shot at on Monday.

"This morning taxi hitmen brutally murdered the driver," he said.

"This man approached me for help and I did everything in my power to help, but it was not enough to save him from the vultures that took his life."

"I am shattered. I will not let this murder go unpunished."

In a statement, Carlisle said he had been reliably informed that a prominent member of the Vrygrond Taxi Group was linked to each of the four incidents.

He had instructed the department that no applications for licences or ranks from the Vrygrond Taxi Group would be considered or processed until the area had been free of violence for six weeks.


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