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Home / World / In South Africa's "mafia-like" taxi industry, 11 Die in Latest Attack

In South Africa's "mafia-like" taxi industry, 11 Die in Latest Attack



CAPE TOWN – Her minibus taxi drove along a quiet country road in eastern South Africa on Saturday night when gunmen opened the fire with automatic weapons, killing eleven people and seriously injuring four people.

The victims were all drivers of the Johannesburg minibus taxi association, said Brig. Vishnu Naidoo, a spokesman for the National Police – the latest victims of a decades-long fight over taxi routes, which has claimed hundreds of lives.

The drivers had returned from the funeral of a colleague in KwaZulu Natal province when the ambush took place. 1

9659002] "Large parts of the industry have begun to appear very mafia-like, defending and expanding their business through the use of force," said Mark Shaw, director of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime and author of a recent book on Assassinations in South Africa

"The most lucrative routes are long distance, as between Johannesburg and Kwa-Zulu Natal," Mr. Shaw added. "That's why there are so many conflicts."

Pictures shared on Twitter showed more than 250 bullet holes over the weekend, fueling the minibus taxi.

More than 200,000 minibus taxis operate nationwide, about 15 million people each day, according to the South African National Taxi Council or Santaco. The country's largest but least regulated transport sector accounts for almost two-thirds of all non-private commuter travel in South Africa, with estimated annual sales of more than $ 1.2 billion, Santaco says. Land and minibus taxis are the only way to travel on routes that are not covered by buses or buses. Englisch: www.goredsea.com/en_magazine-archiv…eptember2004 Trains are served. Outside the big cities, taxis are an important source of income and employment.

Since its founding in the 1980s, however, South Africa's minibus taxi industry has been largely governed by violence, with documented links to political assassinations and other forms of organized crime

The industry was officially born in 1987, when the apartheid government deregulated public transport, which had previously been controlled by a central office. By the end of the decade, the 16-seater minibus taxis known as "combis" were ubiquitous throughout the country, especially in townships and rural "homelands" set up for blacks.

"As one of the first opportunities for When Black Capital Accumulation Set in, the taxi industry almost immediately became a competitive economic terrain, flooded with contenders." Jackie Dugard, then an analyst with the London Commonwealth Secretariat, wrote "Low-intensity War to the Mafia War, "a 2001 study on taxi violence.

"Taxi associations have evolved as informal agents of regulation, protection and extortion," added Ms Dugard in the study published by the Center for Study of Violence and Reconciliation in Cape Town, Village. "Taxi violence has become more widespread, decentralized and criminal."

The conflict over the routes has been exacerbated by the growth of sectarian violence after apartheid officially ended in 1990.

"This is an industry that moves millions of people bringing great prosperity to black communities," Mr. Shaw said. "In small cities it is often the only source of resources for black people, but there is violence in the DNA of the industry."

Of all the attacks in South Africa between 2000 and 2017, 43 percent were associated with the taxi industry Assassination Witness, an Order Killing Database by Mr. Shaw and Other Researchers


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