Thursday’s testimony at the Commission of Inquiry into Taxi Violence in Johannesburg will be heard in-camera to protect the identity of witnesses.
The commission was set up to investigate the underlying reasons for recurring conflict, violence and instability in the taxi industry in Gauteng.
The commission says that testifying in camera will not apply to government officials, who may be requested to appear before it.
Several industry players and government officials have already given evidence since the hearings began in December last year.
The commission’s spokesperson, Koena Moabelo says, “Previously the judge granted an order to have everyone who is in the taxi industry including the victims testifying in camera. This is for protecting the victims names and protecting all those in the association’s names because you will understand that we dealing with an industry of people who are killing each other.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the President of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), Phillip Taaibosch, said when taxi operators are killed, in most cases, the suspects are never found.
Taaibosch was testifying at the commission underway in Parktown, Johannesburg.
He says one of the causes of taxi violence in Gauteng is the high number of taxi associations operating in the same city.
He made reference to rival taxi associations that have clashed over routes in the Johannesburg area for years.
Taaibosch says they should follow the example of his home province, the Free State, which has adopted a One Town, One Taxi Association approach.
“We brought associations in the Free State from close to 130 associations to about 75. If you go to Qwa qwa, you’ve got one taxi association. Go to Harrismith, you’ve got one taxi association, Bloemfontein, one taxi association and they’ve been operating like that now for I think more than 20 years. I can tell you judge you don’t have, you have mild conflicts. I can’t remember when last was there violence in the taxi industry in the Free State.”
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