South Africa

WESTERN CAPE CRIME

Taxi driver dispute suspected as motive for Camps Bay shooting, fuelling fears of a deadly transport war

Taxi driver dispute suspected as motive for Camps Bay shooting, fuelling fears of a deadly transport war
Camps Bay beach in Cape Town, a big tourist destination. On Wednesday, 5 October, two men where shot at the beach — both died at the scene. (Photo: Suné Payne, Daily Maverick)

A police spokesperson says the possibility that the motive for the shooting at Camps Bay on Wednesday is taxi-related cannot be excluded.

A dispute between Cape Town taxi drivers may have been behind the shooting in Camps Bay on Wednesday that left two people dead, said Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) spokesperson Nkululeko Sityebi.  

Two deaths were confirmed by the South African Police Service, but according to Sityebi, a third person is in critical condition in hospital.  

“It was two drivers,” he said. “The other was rushed to the hospital and there is a long-standing issue about the Cape Town route which we believe might have led to the shooting.” 

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi could not confirm that three people had been shot. However, he said: “The possibility that the motive is taxi-related cannot be excluded and will be investigated.” 

Peter Fletov, chair of the Green Point Neighbourhood Watch, said the information he had obtained indicated that the shooting stemmed from a pirate taxi from the Cata taxi association operating on the Camps Bay-Hout Bay route.  

“Drivers from a rival taxi association had complained to authorities earlier in the day about the illegal operator. At around 15:30 in the afternoon, two shooters arrived in a white Toyota Tazz and fired 11 rounds at the taxi driver on Victoria Road, next to the beach. The driver was hit multiple times.” 


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The other victim of the shooting was a photographer who was hit by a stray bullet while he was on the beach. His family is expected to arrive in Cape Town on Friday afternoon from Gqeberha and has requested the media not to publish his name yet.  

His girlfriend went to the scene after he did not respond when she tried to phone him after reading reports of the shooting. She was accompanied by her aunt and positively identified him.  

Last month, GroundUp reported that taxi drivers in Hout Bay held protests demanding compensation from the City of Cape Town for loss of income since the MyCiTi bus service started operating. 

There are fears that the shooting might ignite more taxi violence in the city. The Weekend Argus reported that 123 people were killed in the Western Cape in 2021 during taxi violence.  

The Western Cape MEC for police oversight and community safety, Reagen Allen, said: “I want to assure both locals and those not from our shores that we will do everything in our power to apprehend these unscrupulous characters. We’re in the process of activating our Tourism Safety Officers to ensure the safety of all visitors in the Cape Town CBD and on Table Mountain National Park trails.” 

He added that a social media post of someone who witnessed the Camps Bay shooting had been shared with him, and he had forwarded it to the police.  

“I trust [that the] SAPS will also interview this individual, if they haven’t done so yet, while also providing trauma counselling to anyone who might require it.” DM 

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