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fire destroys taxi group's offices

By Canaan Mdletshe | Nov 12, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

UNKNOWN people have set fire to the offices of the Lamontville Taxi Association, causing damage estimated at R40000.

UNKNOWN people have set fire to the offices of the Lamontville Taxi Association, causing damage estimated at R40000.

The incident has left locals and taxi operators shocked since the area has been free of taxi-related attacks for the past 15 years.

The taxi association yesterday offered a R20000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest of those responsible for the fire at midnight on Tuesday.

The offices are near the local police station.

Yesterday shocked operators and members stood at the scene in complete awe.

Newly elected chairperson Vela Ndebele said they had no clue as to why the offices were set on fire.

"I received a call from the police just after midnight informing me that our offices were on fire. Everything that was inside has been burnt to ashes," Ndebele said.

In addition to furniture, the association lost important documents and receipts from the department of transport in Pietermaritzburg.

"The damage is close to R40000. I don't know why anyone would do such a thing," Ndebele said.

"Unlike other associations, ours has never had any problems or threats of violence or something.

"It is the first time that something has happened in more than 15 years that we have been operating in these offices."

The newly elected committee was due to hold their first meeting yesterday, but could not do so because of the incident.

The previous chairperson, Bhabha Ntombela, who was also there, described the incident as terrible.

"I am also shocked because when the new committee was elected last week nobody was opposed to it, so we are all clueless as to who would do such a thing."

Police spokesperson Mhlonishwa Khawula said the back window had been broken and they suspected that was where the fire was started.

Police are still investigating the arson and at this stage no arrests have been made.

"I want to congratulate the association and the operators for showing maturity by not allowing emotions into the whole thing," Khawula said.


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