Archbishop William Slattery, spokesperson for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has released the following statement condemning the ongoing killings related to taxi violence.
On Saturday about 17 people involved in the taxi industry were ambushed in KwaZulu Natal R74. 11 were shot dead on the spot, 1 died in the hospital, 3 have remained critical in the hospital, while 2 of them survived the shooting. Since then another taxi owner has been killed in Alex.
It is clear that there is a serious problem in the Taxi Industry which needs urgent attention by the government.
Millions of South Africans on a daily basis depend on taxis for transport. Taxi violence continues to endanger the lives of many innocent people. Many taxi drivers live in serious insecurity. Is the government, which we now have, capable of dealing with this grave issue which is so close to the ordinary lives of our people?
The easy availability of sophisticated illegal firearms is a cause for serious concern. Suppliers of such weapons must bear grave responsibility for murders which result from this criminal activity. This violence tarnishes the image of our country.
Law enforcement agencies, which should reach even the remotest parts of our land, seem totally unable to make any impact on this crime within the taxi industry.
The Catholic Church is concerned about the use of illegal firearms within the taxi industry which are the cause for the loss of innocent lives. We therefore appeal to competitors in the transport sector to engage in peaceful dialogue and ethical business practice.
Archbishop W. Slattery OFM
For more information contact: Archbishop William Slattery: 0834685473.
Image: Russell Pollitt SJ