taximen claim police take sides

MEMBERS of the Sekgosese Taxi Association operating at the busy Wholesale taxi rank outside Modjadjiskloof have accused the police at Senwamokgope of fomenting violence in theirindustry

MEMBERS of the Sekgosese Taxi Association operating at the busy Wholesale taxi rank outside Modjadjiskloof have accused the police at Senwamokgope of fomenting violence in theirindustry

This is after police allegedly assisted members of the Balobedu Long Distance Taxi Association (Baldta) to remove passengers from a taxi belonging to a member of Seta.

On Sunday after passengers had boarded a Seta member's taxi at the rank and he had driven off, his taxi is believed to have been followed by the driver of a taxi occupied by Baldta members.

He then drove to the local police station to seek protection.

According to the Seta driver, the Baldta members arrived at the police station and some police officers helped them to remove passengers from his vehicle and got them to board the taxi owned by Baldta.

It is alleged that Baldta members, who have shared the taxi rank with their counterparts in the Sekgosese area, now want the sole right to ferry passengers from the area to Gauteng.

The two bodies started operating at the rank in 2007, and have been sharing passengers.

A taxi driver who declined to be named said they had reported the problem long ago.

He claimed that the police seemed to be afraid to take action. This, he claimed, was because some of the taxi owners are related to police officers .

"We've lost confidence in the police," said an angry taxi driver.

"Soon we will take the law into our own hands for our safety."

Some taxi drivers claimed that Greater Letaba municipality traffic officers were not able to take action against some drivers who did not have permits as some of the vehicles belonged to them.

Provincial police spokesperson Mohale Ramatseba confirmed that a taxi driver had sought protection at the police station. But he denied reports that police officers had removed passengers from any taxis.

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