Nica Richards

By Nica Richards


No, General Sitole, the violence is never ‘senseless’

The taxi industry has been getting away with lawless behaviour for years, and continues to remain unopposed.

National police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khehla Sitole condemned the murder of 11 people in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday night in taxi-related violence, calling the killings “senseless”.

General, the killings may be senseless to you – and to the majority of South Africans – but they make perfect sense to the perpetrators.

They wanted to settle a score, or advance their business at the expense of their competitors, and they did it in the only way they know: through gun barrels. Carrying out this drive-by shooting on a taxi with 17 occupants also made sense to the killers because they, and their colleagues, and even their enemies, have been getting away with lawless behaviour for years.

That is the real senseless part of this tragedy, General: that you and your law enforcement force – or service, whatever is in fashion these days – cannot seem to stop any of the anarchy associated with the taxi business.

Taxi owners and drivers have become not only a law unto themselves, they have effectively seceded from the civilised state of South Africa and are running their own liberated zone within our borders.

This, General, is a major national crisis. And it’s about time you and your colleagues in government started talking sense about it.

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