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EASTERN CAPE police minister Bheki Cele has announced the, “immediate and indefinite closure” of taxi circuits in the town of Mthatha in a bid to halt a two year cycle of tit-for-tat murders.

Over 60 people have been killed since 2016 and Mr Cele said he was closing the major routes R61 and N2 from Maclear to Tsolo.

Bheki-CeleMr Cele said:

The selfishness of the taxi industry must be cut to zero. We cannot continue to count dead bodies like a taxi load. Sixty people is a big number and the killings must be eradicated or else taxi operators will lose their business. The routes belong to the citizens of this country and are not to be manipulated by taxi bosses for selfish financial gains.

Spokesman for minister Nonkululeko Photane said the regional government had tried to intervene to stem the violence, including a peace accord signed by rival cab associations, but added that the killings had carried on. “All interventions to date have failed miserably, hence the police minister has taken drastic steps to halt the murders.”

The African National Congress party has also called for action and spokeswoman Judy Mpetsheni said: “We demand the arrest, trial and sentencing of those responsible for these deadly shootings.”

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PHC Magazine

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