Hitch-hiker in­tim­i­dated

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Or­rin Singh

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.

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