Taxi boss given bail in attempted murder case

TAXI boss Melekile Hani was granted bail of R5000 by the Port Elizabeth regional magistrate's court yesterday afternoon.

TAXI boss Melekile Hani was granted bail of R5000 by the Port Elizabeth regional magistrate's court yesterday afternoon.

Hani, 39, is chairperson of the PE-Uitenhage Taxi Association and chief negotiator in the Integrated Public Transport System forum.

He was arrested almost two weeks ago for attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition after an incident in which three people were shot at near a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet at Njoli Square, KwaZakhele, in January.

His court appearance last Monday created chaos as taxi operators embarked on a protest march that left commuters stranded.

About 84 taxi operators were arrested for causing pandemonium outside the same court last week.

Defence counsel Advocate Johan Wessels argued in the bail hearing that the continued incarceration of Hani could cause the negotiations for the Integrated Public System to be held in abeyance and that the accused was no flight risk as he owned no passport.

The state opposed bail arguing that the accused could interfere with witnesses and that his organisations, which embarked on a strike last Monday, "would always cause repercussions if they do not get their way".

Magistrate Johan Herselman, however, gave Hani bail but also set up strict bail conditions ordering that he be placed under house arrest between 6pm and 6am and report to the Walmer police station daily.

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