A RICHARDS Bay man was left bewildered following an incident of intimidation by who he claims were taxi protection operators last Wednesday morning.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of victimization, said he had been hitch-hiking just off the John Ross Parkway, heading towards the N2.
‘I had a job interview in Durban and didn’t have a lift, so I decided I would hitch-hike.
‘I was waiting near the banana sellers before you get on to the N2 at Empangeni when I was approached by three men.
‘While they did not produce their firearms, they were all armed.
‘One of the men, who was wearing a black VIP Protection T-shirt, told me I wasn’t allowed to stand there.
‘He said I needed to get into one of their taxis and they would take me to the Empangeni Rank where I must catch a taxi to Durban from there.
‘I told the men that I had an interview in Durban and was fine with hitch-hiking.
‘They got a bit aggressive with me and said that the government forced them to buy Quantum taxis and now all the smaller cars are taking business away from them.
‘I didn’t want to argue with them because I was alone and they had guns on them, so I told them I would walk to town and began walking.
‘Fortunately, I was able to get a lift while I was walking back,’ he said. Chairperson of the SANTACO King Cetshwayo District, Mduduzi Makhunga, said he would investigate the matter and issue a response in due course.