Thu Oct 27 17:00:58 SAST 2016

But this wreck might be back

By unknown | Jul 04, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

The taxi dubbed the "mother of all skorokoros" and a "moving coffin" might be back on the road soon.

But the vehicle's owner is on the run after failing to appear in court to explain why and how he transported people in it.

The taxi, which operated between Bekkersdal and Westonaria, was impounded on May 6.

Nothing in the vehicle functioned properly.

Instead of a proper ignition, it had an electrical switch for household appliances. The engine could only start after an intricate combination of wires under the steering wheel had been manipulated.

The driver's seat was balanced on bricks and tied with wire.

Underneath the pedals was a huge hole covered with carpets and the steering wheel needed to be turned three times to turn the wheels.

The owner and driver, Joseph Qefata, was arrested and charged with driving an unroadworthy vehicle and driving without a public driving permit when the vehicle was impounded by the Westonaria Traffic Department.

Qefata then failed to pay a R1500 fine and he was arrested.

Westonaria traffic management spokesman Lorraine Mkabela said: "He was released on bail but failed to appear in court on May 21 and a warrant of arrest has been issued."

When Sowetan visited the Gauteng Department of Community Safety site where impounded taxis are kept, it was learnt that Westonaria taxis, along with the other vehicles on the site, could be back on the roads provided their owners paid their fines and promised to fix them.

The department's spokesman, Obed Sibasa, said: "We removed all the impounded taxis from operating on the roads as public transport without permits."

"But the one you are talking about, was brought to us by the Westonaria Traffic Department for safe-keeping."

Sibasa, who said the wreck was "not supposed to be on the road", said he doubted if it could be repaired.

He said that cars impounded for operating without permits did not automatically qualify to be crushed.


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