Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Ronald Lamola, will convene a public Victim-Offender-Dialogue (VOD) involving the taxi industry in the Eastern Cape.
Expected to be held at the All Saints Sports Field in eNgcobo on Friday, the VOD relates to a 2001 taxi violence incident that resulted in the cold-blooded execution of seven people.
Chairperson of the Boarder Alliance Taxi Association and four Executive Members were ambushed and killed in a hail of bullets on the N2 between Mount Frere and Qumbu on their way back from a Taxi Indaba in Durban. A passenger and a truck driver were additional victims fatally wounded during the attack.
Although those behind the act were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment, the horrendous incident left many families harmed and longing for closure.
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has acknowledged that it has to do more to promote and enforce restorative justice. Hence, justice should never be something removed from the individuals and communities affected or harmed by crime.
Prior to the public VOD, DCS initiated an open engagement process between the victims and perpetrators through a Victim-Offender-Mediation.
“Minister Lamola will highlight the importance of a victim-centred justice system where the genesis of restorative justice is located. Taxi violence continues to cause depredation in the country and it has to be quelled,” said the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services on Wednesday.
A total of four inmates and a parolee who will take part in the dialogue. Other VOD participants include the families of the victims and the taxi industry structures.
Lamola will also hand over school desks and chairs refurbished by inmates to eight schools in the Chris Hani District as well as wheelchairs assembled by inmates to ten beneficiaries.
The Minister will be joined by Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane.
Source: South African Government News Agency