Phumzile van Damme and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi weigh in on soldiers' deployment during taxi protest

The DA's Phumzile van Damme says the deployment was “a very slippery slope”.
The DA's Phumzile van Damme says the deployment was “a very slippery slope”.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and the DA's Phumzile van Damme have weighed in on the deployment of soldiers to help police during the taxi strike.

On Monday, a taxi protest in Gauteng turned violent after police used rubber bullets to disperse taxi operators who had blockaded roads. Soldiers were deployed to some hot spots to clear some blocked roads caused by taxi operators who were stopping motorists and harassing people asking for lifts to work.

SowetanLIVE reported the one-day protest was prompted by the government offering R1bn to the sector to limit the impact of Covid-19.

However, the taxi industry said the offering was not nearly enough to provide relief, insisting on “at least R20,000 per vehicle”.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said taxi operators had “no right” to close roads and that the strike was “counterproductive”.

On social media, the deployment of soldiers made the top trending list as mixed reactions poured in.

Ndlozi warned that people shouldn't be celebrating the defence force's involvement.

“We can’t celebrate the army being deployed on civilian protesters. There are absolutely no grounds whatsoever for the army to be dispersing the taxi strike. It is an abuse of power, whether you agree with the protest or not!” he said.

Echoing Ndlozi's statement, Van Damme said the deployment was “a very slippery slope”.

“On one hand, laws are being broken, on the other, we are not at war here. Why is the army being deployed to deal with criminality? A very slippery slope this,” said Van Damme.

Here is a snapshot of what tweeps had to say about the SANDF deployment.

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