Taxi violence on Mthatha route

Five drivers to appear in court

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Photo of taxi with broken windscreen
A damaged taxi from todays’ protest. Photo: Zkhona Ndongeni

Five taxi drivers will appear in Libode Magistrate Court tomorrow facing charges of public violence, intimidation and possession of illegal fire arms. This follows a protest in Mthatha and Libode when taxi drivers closed the road and stoned cars.

Mthatha police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said the five had been arrested during the protest.

He said police had closed Ntlaza taxi rank in Libode while they monitored the situation.

At least ten people have died during clashes over routes between Ncedo Taxi Association and their Border Alliance counterparts.

Chair of OR Tambo Taxi Council Mabuya Shumayele said there was little communication between taxi drivers, police and taxi owners. The owners had not been informed about the protest in advance, he said.

Commuter Bukiwe Njema said she was scared of going to town because of the taxi drivers’ fight.

Njema said she had been waiting for a taxi next to Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha when taxi drivers carrying pangas and sticks marched along the road, preventing cars from giving people lifts. 

“They attacked some of the cars. I was there at nine, we only managed to get a lift after five when police started patrolling,” she said.

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TOPICS:  Labour Transport Violence

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Write a letter in response to this article

Letters

Dear Editor

I heard about this strike because my mother was at Mthatha while this incident took place. According to what she told me, everything was just messed-up. But around 10:00pm she managed to get transport because the strike was better than in the afternoon. Thanks God that she arrived at home safe.

Dear Editor

it was not nice to be in Mthatha when the taxi strike occurred because other human rights were infringed by the strike. For instance other people were badly injured, killed and there was no freedom of movement to those that have cars. Many roads were blocked by big stones, including big fires of the tyres on the road.

Other drivers were not alerted about the strike so they ended up using maximum force that had put them into dangerous situation. Four drivers who were coming from Bizana are in Nelson Mandela Hospital at Mthatha and there is no hope that they will recover because they are in a coma. if the strike were published all over the Eastern Cape these people who have died would not have been forced to get through Mthatha. They would have been aware of the incident.

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