Me­tered, e-hail­ing taxi driv­ers wage fiery war

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - VIR­GI­LATTE GWANGWA

THE DISPUTE over op­er­a­tions between me­tered and e-hail­ing taxi driv­ers has es­ca­lated from fist fights, break­ing car wind­screens and dam­ag­ing car tyres to burnt ve­hi­cles and shots be­ing fired.

Two peo­ple were se­ri­ously in­jured on Wed­nes­day, one a me­tered-taxi driver who was shot while wait­ing to pick up pas­sen­gers at Men­lyn Mall. The driver is fight­ing for his life in hos­pi­tal.

In an­other in­ci­dent, a me­tered taxi was set alight just as it dropped off a pas­sen­ger in Sun­ny­side, Pre­to­ria.

The ve­hi­cle was ap­par­ently petrol-bombed while the driver and his brother were still in­side it.

Both made it out of the ve­hi­cle alive but the driver was taken to hos­pi­tal suf­fer­ing from pos­si­ble smoke in­hala­tion.

The in­ci­dent was sus­pected to be in re­tal­i­a­tion for at­tacks by me­tered taxi driv­ers.

How­ever, Gaut­eng Me­ter Taxi Coun­cil sec­re­tary Hen­drick Ndou couldn’t con­firm that the at­tack on the ve­hi­cle was by other me­tered taxi driv­ers.

“I un­der­stand there are dis­putes between e-hail­ing taxis and us but I can­not say for sure who at­tacked who. One of our driv­ers was shot and is in hos­pi­tal but I can’t point the in­ci­dent to Uber driv­ers.

“Fur­ther­more, a me­tered taxi was hi­jacked in Braam­fontein and found burnt at Mooik­loof and we are not point­ing fin­gers even with our mis­un­der­stand­ing with e-hail­ing driv­ers,” he said.

Po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant-Colonel Lun­gelo Dlamini said they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing two in­ci­dents where driv­ers were as­saulted.

“A case of ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty and as­sault with griev­ous bod­ily harm has been opened but no ar­rests have been made yet,” Dlamini said.

Both at­tacks oc­curred a day be­fore me­tered taxi driv­ers planned to march and protest at the Gau­train head of­fice. Per­mis­sion for the march was de­nied by the Joburg metro po­lice.

“We had a meet­ing and handed over a mem­o­ran­dum of de­mands to the Depart­ment of Trans­port’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Piet Mahlangu,” Ndou said.

PIC­TURE: DAV­I­SON A MUDAWARIWO

TORCHED: A Taxi­way ve­hi­cle burns af­ter it was al­legedly petrol-bombed in Sun­ny­side, Pre­to­ria.

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