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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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4 drivers hurt in taxi protest

By unknown | Mar 24, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Fou R bus drivers were injured when their vehicles were stoned during a Cape Town taxi strike yesterday , police said.

Fou R bus drivers were injured when their vehicles were stoned during a Cape Town taxi strike yesterday , police said.

Police spokesperson Superintendent André Traut said the stonings took place between Philippi, Nyanga, Ocean View and Kraaifontein.

No arrests had been made and the police, who had been put on high alert for the day-long strike, were monitoring those areas.

Traut said there had been some damage to buses, including broken windows.

Golden Arrow spokesperson Vuyisile Mdoda said the drivers were taken to hospital.

Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle blamed the stonings on the Western Cape National Taxi Alliance, the body that called the strike.

"After having spent much of the weekend in negotiations with the (alliance) in an effort to avoid today's strike, I am furious that this morning the body was involved in acts of violence and intimidation, including throwing stones at buses," Car;isle said.

"Accordingly, I have shelved all plans to assist the (alliance) with its concerns until such time as it gives me a written declaration that no further violence will occur."

He said he had made it clear to the alliance over the weekend that he was neither able nor prepared to meet its main demand for an across-the-board amnesty for impounded vehicles.

Alliance spokesperson Mvuyisi Mente said the taxi body was a nonviolent organisation, and could not be blamed for the stonings.

Mente said those responsible for the stonings were likely petty criminals or "small boys who are not even taxi owners, who are not even taxi drivers".

In a memorandum handed to an official from Carlisle's office at mid-morning on Tuesday, the alliance called for the immediate and unconditional release of all impounded vehicles.

It also demanded a stop to roadbocks and forced offloading of passengers, urging instead that authorities "show us the same courtesy it affords Golden Arrow Bus Services and inspect our vehicles at mutually agreed times".

Mente said the strike would not continue today, but if there was no satisfactory response to the memo within seven days, it would resume. - Sapa


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