Taxi men at­tack ci­vi­li­an dri­ver

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Misdaad | Crime - N­wa­bi­sa Pon­do­yi

Two ca­ses of as­sault we­re o­pe­ned fol­lo­wing an al­le­ged at­tack in­vol­ving a taxi o­w­ner and so­me taxi dri­vers.

This hap­pe­ned af­ter the occu­pants of a pri­va­te vehi­cle we­re re­por­ted­ly at­tac­ked by taxi men in U­ni­on­da­le Ro­ad, Nek­kies.

Ba­bal­wa N­di­bon­go says she and two f­riends in their own vehi­cle we­re at­tac­ked by taxi dri­vers af­ter a nig­ht out on Sun­day 18 March, al­le­ge­d­ly for w­hat the taxi dri­vers thoug­ht was reckless dri­ving.

‘Pil­lars of the com­mu­ni­ty’

“I ha­ve al­ways kno­wn taxi dri­vers to be pil­lars of our com­mu­ni­ties, law en­for­cers w­he­re po­li­ce or the jus­ti­ce sy­stem fails us… Ne­ver in my wil­dest d­re­ams did I e­ver think I would suf­fer at their sa­me hands.”

She says the men stop­ped their vehi­cle, kic­ked o­pen the win­dows of their car and as­saul­ted them. “One of my f­riends es­ca­ped and ran, one who was the dri­ver was as­saul­ted and his car is in ruins, t­hey pul­led my hair and as I was get­ting out of the car, one of them e­ven kic­ked my fa­ce.”

Char­ges of as­sault laid

N­di­bon­go says af­ter the in­ci­dent, she and the dri­ver Sak­he­ki­le Ma­ki­na­na went to the po­li­ce sta­ti­on to o­pen a ca­se and then la­ter went to the taxi rank to report the mat­ter.

“The or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on lis­te­ned to our grie­van­ces and told us t­hey don’t hand­le ca­ses or in­ci­dents that ha­ve been re­por­ted to the po­li­ce – either t­hey de­al with the ca­se or al­low the jus­ti­ce sy­stem to ta­ke its cour­se. T­hey pro­mi­sed to fix Ma­ki­na­na’s car if he drop­ped the ca­se, and to ‘de­al’ with the per­pe­tra­tors.”

She says he has sin­ce drop­ped the char­ges and she al­so wan­ted to f­or­get a­bout it all – until she he­ard so­me of the dri­vers bo­as­ting a­bout the in­ci­dent. Her ca­se of as­sault stands at the po­li­ce sta­ti­on, for in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on.

Taxi o­w­ner ‘tried to stop’ them

“I don’t re­mem­ber all the pe­op­le who we­re the­re but I do re­mem­ber seeing one of the o­w­ners, Mand­la Tyo­lo­lo, e­ven though he claims that he tried to stop the ot­her guys from at­tacking us. It should ne­ver be o­kay for pe­op­le to rand­om­ly at­tack pe­op­le.”

W­hen re­a­ched for com­ment, Ma­ki­na­na con­fir­med the in­ci­dent on the said da­te and that he had drop­ped the ca­se, but he re­fu­sed to gi­ve mo­re information.

Knys­na-P­lett He­rald met with Un­ce­do Taxi As­so­ci­a­ti­on chair Er­nest Pe­tros and ot­her taxi rank stakeholders (Knys­na Taxi As­so­ci­a­ti­on and Garden Route Taxi As­so­ci­a­ti­on) on Thursday 29 March.

Tyo­lo­lo, who was al­so in the meet­ing, would not enga­ge on the mat­ter and me­re­ly said, “I re­ser­ve all rig­hts to com­ment on the mat­ter.”

T­handuxo­lo Wyn, who is a trans­port of­fi­cer at the taxi rank, con­fir­med that t­hey as a taxi rank com­mit­tee had sat do­wn with the com­plai­nants and re­a­ched the de­ci­si­on to help them if t­hey drop­ped the char­ges. “If t­hey are not hap­py with our de­ci­si­on, then the­re is no­thing mo­re we can do for them.”

P­ho­to: Sup­p­lied

Sak­he­ki­le Ma­ki­na­na af­ter the al­le­ged at­tack.

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