mbombela tense

TENSION continued to grip Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) as taxi drivers from Bushbuckridge occupied the city's streets for the second day running.

The drivers arrived in large numbers and parked their minibus taxis in the central business district, claiming to be supporting taxi drivers from KaBokweni.

Members of KaBokweni Taxi Association have been at loggerheads with the local Top Star Taxi Association over long distance routes.

Yesterday, taximen from Bushbuckridge and Thulamahashe parked their vehicles in various streets while they negotiated with the police.

"We are scared to death because of the tension which may result in taxi violence," said a commuter who had opted to use the train to Johannesburg instead.

Many people intending to travel to other provinces have been stranded in the city for the past two days.

Police and traffic officers were monitoring the situation, but Superintendent Sibongile Nkosi, the provincial police spokesperson, could not be reached for comment yesterday as she was said to be engaged in protracted meetings.

Kabokweni Taxi Association and their Top Star counterparts have been embroiled in a feud over routes for the past two weeks.

None of the members were prepared to speak to Sowetan as emotions were running high.