In a tragic incident, a British doctor lost his life when he inadvertently entered the Nyanga township in Cape Town, where violent protests related to an ongoing taxi strike were unfolding. The 40-year-old man, accompanied by family members, reportedly took a wrong turn from the Cape Town International Airport. The situation escalated when several individuals allegedly approached the vehicle at Ntlangano Crescent and opened fire, resulting in his death. Lirandzu Themba, a spokesperson for the police minister, provided this information.
Despite the incident, no arrests have been made. The British Foreign Office has extended its support to the victim’s family and issued a cautionary advisory to fellow Britons, urging vigilance while travelling in South Africa. This advisory came after the United Kingdom’s warning on August 5, stating concerns that the taxi strike’s intensity in Cape Town might escalate into violence and disrupt various areas, including routes to and from the airport.
Since the commencement of the taxi strike on August 1, the situation has taken a grim turn. Tragically, five individuals have lost their lives, and numerous vehicles have been subjected to arson and stone-throwing. The unrest has manifested through road blockades, property destruction, and rock hurling. Law enforcement has responded with over 120 arrests since the protest began, focusing on offences like malicious damage to property, public violence, and looting.
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) initiated this one-week strike after negotiations with local authorities regarding the City of Cape Town’s newly enacted by-laws fell apart. These by-laws empower local officials to confiscate vehicles for infractions, including driving without proper licensing or registration and non-compliance with seatbelt regulations.
Santaco, however, has vehemently disputed the violence, asserting that its members are not the instigators. The organisation’s statement reflects its deep concern over the public’s perception of its members as unruly. Santaco refutes this perception and places blame on protesters who, they claim, are fueling such misperceptions.
To address the mounting turmoil, authorities took decisive steps. On Monday, they undertook efforts to clear roadways for smoother traffic flow and simultaneously impounded 52 minibus taxis, signalling a resolute stance to restore order.
This incident has brought to light the escalating tensions surrounding the taxi strike in Cape Town. The tragedy of the British doctor’s death underscores the urgency to resolve the situation, as the ongoing unrest continues to disrupt the city and its transportation networks.
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Photo: Supplied by Cape Town ETC