Taxi boss, traffic head face off

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A Limpopo taxi tycoon and a traffic boss of the greater Tzaneen municipality are at each other's throats following an alleged racial outburst.

Prominent Tzaneen taxi boss and owner of T-Boss Driving School Thabo Molepo has laid a charge of crimen injuria against Tzaneen traffic department senior superintendent Francois Beyter for allegedly calling him a "kaffir".

Beyter allegedly called Molepo names during a scuffle on Saturday.

It is alleged Beyter held Molepo by his throat and assaulted him when he (Molepo) allegedly refused to cooperate with the police.

The incident comes in the wake of allegations that Molepo went to the police station on Saturday to have one of his taxi drivers released.

The driver had been arrested for allegedly parking on the wrong side of the road.

Molepo allegedly demanded that his driver be released.

Molepe, who was allegedly uncontrollable, grabbed the keys of the minibus taxi from Beyter's hands and a scuffle ensued.

Sources at the station said a group of police officers who were at the scene took turns in beating Molepo and forcing him into the cells.

He was handcuffed and forcibly pushed into a cell, during which time Beyter allegedly called him a "kaffir".

"He kicked me in the stomach and between my ribs and said 'ek dink jy is now reg kaffir'," Molepo said yesterday.

The incident apparently took place in full view of members of the public who had gone to get help at the police station.

Police confirmed that charges of crimen injuria and of assault had been laid against Beyter.

The case will be heard on January 9 next year.

Contacted for comment, Beyter laughed and said Molepo had fabricated the whole incident. He refuted claims that he called Molepo a "kaffir" or had assaulted him.

"We locked him up as he was being a bullyand troublesome. This was to stop him from interfering with police duties," Beyter said.