Uber and me­tered taxi feud con­tin­ues

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - VIRGILATTE GWANGWA

IT RE­MAINS un­clear if it was Uber or me­tered taxis that were dam­aged in separate in­ci­dents across Tsh­wane in the past few days.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, two Uber ve­hi­cles were set alight in Sun­ny­side, while me­tered taxi op­er­a­tors claimed four of their cars were dam­aged.

Po­lice spokesper­son Mavela Masondo told The Star’s sis­ter pa­per, the Pre­to­ria News, yes­ter­day that three men were ar­rested after two Uber taxis were set alight in Sun­ny­side on Wed­nes­day.

He said me­tered taxi op­er­a­tors from the Rail­way and Tulleken streets rank had gath­ered near the Pre­to­ria Gau­train Sta­tion to stop Uber driv­ers from op­er­at­ing.

How­ever, po­lice man­aged to calm the sit­u­a­tion be­fore the ri­vals clashed. “When we heard what was hap­pen­ing we at­tended to the sit­u­a­tion which we man­aged to con­trol.

“How­ever, we re­alised the sit­u­a­tion had es­ca­lated when we re­ceived a com­plaint that Uber ve­hi­cles had been burnt in Sun­ny­side,” he said.

Masondo said they rushed there and found a grey Toyota Corolla burnt at the cor­ner of Jeff Masemola and Van der Walt streets, and an­other near Jeff Masemola and Thabo Se­hume streets.

He said Pub­lic Or­der Polic­ing mem­bers raced to the scene where they ar­rested three sus­pects. “The three men have been charged with ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty,” Masondo said. The men were ex­pected to ap­pear in the Pre­to­ria Mag­is­trate’s Court to­day.

How­ever, sec­re­tary of the Gaut­eng Me­ter Taxi Council Hendrick Ndou said the dam­aged ve­hi­cles were theirs and not Uber taxis. “Four me­tered taxis were van­dalised in Sun­ny­side; three had bro­ken win­dows and other da­m­ages while the other was petrol-bombed,” he said.

Po­lice in Wierdabrug are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing a mur­der case after a taxi mar­shall was shot in Cen­tu­rion. The 40-yearold was at­tacked by two armed men.

Po­lice spokesper­son Bonginkosi Msi­mango said the two walked up to the mar­shall and con­fronted him, shoot­ing him sev­eral times.

Pro­vin­cial me­tered taxi op­er­a­tors want the Uber ser­vice to be dis­con­tin­ued, ar­gu­ing that it is un­fair to other op­er­a­tors. Among their is­sues were the fares charged for trips cov­er­ing the same dis­tance.

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