Cape Town - Violence in Cape Town eased after a week-long minibus taxi strike that paralysed the city and left five dead including a British tourist, police confirmed on Thursday. The strike, which stranded commuters in one of South Africa’s largest cities, was called off on Thursday evening after long negotiations. No new violence has been reported since Tuesday. The 40-year-old British man was shot and killed on August 3 after a road blockage by strikers forced him to drive into a township area participating in the strike.
“No arrests have been made pertaining to the British citizen but investigations are certainly underway,” warrant officer Joseph Swartbooi told AFP. The man identified as Kar Teoh was reportedly killed in front of his wife and two-year-old son. Teoh was a consultant foot and ankle surgeon at the state-run Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in England. “His professional dedication was unparalleled, but it was his personal warmth, his commitment to friendship, and his unwavering support that we will remember most fondly,” friend and fellow orthopaedic surgeon Paul Lee said in an online tribute.
City authorities extended their “condolences to his loved ones and all others who have become victims of this violence”. A police officer was also killed last Friday as officers were “performing crime prevention patrols to quell taxi related incidents”, authorities said. Authorities reported three other deaths that were believed to be related to the strike. -
‘Getting hungry’ - Drivers of minibus taxis, the main mode of transport for millions of working-class South Africans, blocked multiple roads in a strike that began last Thursday as a result of clashes with city authorities. The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) called for the action over a new law giving the city the power to impound vehicles over offences such as driving without a licence, not displaying registration plates or overloading. President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the violence. Late on Thursday, the minibus taxi union said it was calling off the strike with “immediate effect” after “painstaking deliberations”. Talks with the local government resulted in a deal to work towards the release of impounded vehicles, the union added. Earlier, authorities said measures were being taken to “mitigate impact” of the strike on deliveries.