'We will win taxi war'

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

Gauteng police deny that they are losing the taxi war that is raging between two Johannesburg taxi associations over routes.

Dobsonville-Roodepoort-Leratong Johannesburg Taxi Association (Dorljota) and Faraday Taxi Association have been warring over which association should operate from the Clearwater Mall and Makro in Roodepoort.

Police spokesman Eugene Opperman said yesterday that the continuing violence was being perpetuated by criminal elements. "There is no way we will lose this battle. We are doing all that is possible to arrest the culprits and ensure commuter safety."

He said the police had leads on the perpetrators involved in the shootings on Sunday that claimed the lives of two people, one from each association, and a passenger.

He said they were still investigating the occupants of the combi from which shots were fired at the Clearwater Mall.

Last November, transport officials ordered the warring associations to reapply for their routes.

They ordered one association to use Makro as its terminal and the other one to service the Clearwater Shopping Mall.

Faraday Taxi Association appealed against this decision.

But last Friday, the Gauteng Public Passenger Appeal Board dismissed the appeal. The board said the association appeared to be trying to get a direct route from Muldersdrift, along the Hendrik Potgieter Road, all the way to the Johannesburg CBD.

Joe Mophuting of Dorljota said he suspected that the shootings were triggered by the judgment.

"It seems that they [Faraday] do not want to accept things as they are," he said.

He said his group had lost a member and that it was one member too many.

"They are even killing passengers. Are they trying to send us a message that we should stop using that route? Well, we are not going anywhere," Mophuting said.