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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Cape Town Taxi strike: City granted urgent interdict against Santaco

An interdict was granted on Monday night against Santaco and its affiliates as taxi strike related violence escalates in Cape Town.

The Western Cape High Court granted an urgent interdict against the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and its 166 affiliates late on Monday night.

The crippling and violent taxi strike has been blazing a trial of mayhem and destruction since its start on Thursday, 3 August, following impoundments of minibus taxis last Tuesday as per new by-laws.

Taxi strike turns deadly, school attendance blocked

Cape Town police have confirmed that at least two people has died so far and 72 people have been arrested for public violence.

According to Western Cape Education MEC David Maynier, the strike had prevented more than 450,000 learners and nearly 17,500 staff from getting to school on Monday.

ALSO READ: Four more Golden Arrow buses torched, schools affected as Cape Town taxi strike continues

City of Cape Town obtains urgent interdict

The order by Judge Patrick Gamble prohibits any person or vehicle from unreasonably blocking Cape Town’s roads with the intention of harming or delaying passengers using other modes of transport. Members of the taxi industry are also prohibited from coming within 100 metres of a transport depot.

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis announced the news on Twitter just before 11pm.

According to GroundUp, Judge Gamble’s order followed a six-hour-long hearing on Monday evening during which the City of Cape Town and Golden Arrow Bus Services made submissions against Santaco and the 166 taxi associations affiliated with the taxi council

ALSO READ: Cape Town cop gunned down while on patrol during taxi strike

Golden Arrow buses still targeted, torched after interdict

Golden Arrow Bus Services had secured an urgent interim interdict against the respondents on Sunday, but returned to court on Monday arguing that Santaco is in contempt of court.

This after four more of the company’s buses were attacked on Monday – in spite of SANTACO agreeing to the interim interdict. This total of Golden Arrow buses torched since the start of the minibus taxi strike last Thursday, now stands at 10.

Hundreds of people were seen walking home on the N2 on 3 August 3 in Cape Town. Commuters were left stranded after taxi operators went on strike on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

In Sunday’s urgent application, Golden Arrow general manager Derick Meyer said when the taxi strike began on 3 August, 116 buses had been attacked in 48 hours.

  • On Thursday, the first Golden Arrow bus was set alight, with passengers still on board.
  • During a taxi blockade off the N2 on the same ay,Monday morning, “a number of armed persons entered a Golden Arrow bus and forced passengers off”.
  • On Friday, a Golden Arrow bus driver was shot and injured in Khayelitsha.
  • On Sunday afternoon, a company driver was attacked with a hammer by a number of unidentified assailants.

Taxi strike blockade in breach of order

In breach of Sunday’s interim interdict court order, Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer told The Citizen:

“Four buses unfortunately have been torched around the time the taxi blockade was occurring on the N2 near Borcherds Quarry, two of our buses were set alight there. Another two were set alight in different parts of Philippi this morning.”

Santaco claimed they had sent a statement informing its members of the court order on Sunday, shortly after the order was granted.

Bus company applies for new order

They bus company wants the court to issue another order, giving Santaco until 23 August to give reasons why they should not be held in contempt of court and be imprisoned for 30 days.

According to GroundUp, Judge Gamble is expected to make a ruling on Golden Arrow Bus Services’ application on Tuesday.

NOW READ: Taxi strike: Talks collapse, depot petrol-bombed, Golden Arrow interdict, rail services