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Taxi drivers' gun battles scare away commuters at busy Bree Street rank

By unknown | May 17, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

Taxi commuters in Johannesburg are feeling unsafe after another indiscriminate shooting at the Bree Street rank last week.

Commuters said they were even afraid of going inside the taxi rank. Taxi owners said they were also helpless and could not guarantee the safety of their passengers.

Last week, passengers had to duck for their lives and a driver fled when a man fired shots at his vehicle outside the Bree Street taxi rank. The taxi belonged to the Dobsonville, Roodepoort, Leratong, and Johannesburg Taxi Association (Dorljota).

This shooting followed another at the same taxi rank about four weeks ago, where a driver was shot dead and a female passenger wounded in a random shooting spree.

It is believed that the shooting was related to a feud over routes between Faraday Taxi Association (FTA) and the Dorljota.

Lindiwe Zwane, a commuter from Randfontein, West Rand, said it was unfair for the drivers to shoot at each other without considering the safety of their passengers.

"If they want to shoot each other let them do that but they must not involve us," she said.

Zwane said she was in a taxi on Beyers Naude Drive when the drivers turned it into a war zone.

"We had to duck bullets to survive the shooting," said Zwane.

She said she had never seen so many bullets flying in the air before.

"They really do not care about our safety and we have families to look after," she said.

Benjamin Shabangu, chairman of Dorljota, said the association couldn't do anything about commuter safety as they too needed protection.

He said security provided by the government at the taxi rank was inadequate.


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