National 22.8.2016 04:09 pm

KZN taxi owners protest over the arrest of 94

An eyewitness snapped this photo of taxis gathering in Utrecht earlier today. Picture: Vryheid Herald.

An eyewitness snapped this photo of taxis gathering in Utrecht earlier today. Picture: Vryheid Herald.

Taxi owners gathered in Utrecht, KZN, today in response to the arrest of 94 suspects who gathered illegally on Sunday.

A group of taxi owners from various associations blocked the road near the Utrecht Police Station today after the arrest of 94 suspects in the Blood River area, in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) yesterday, August 21.

This is according to KZN police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane, who said police were monitoring the situation.

He said yesterday’s arrested suspects were taxi owners who were cuffed for illegal gathering. He said they would appear in the Utrecht Magistrates’ Court.

Zwane further confirmed: “Forty firearms were recovered and will be sent for ballistic tests to check if they were used in any other crimes in the province.”

Kwanele Ncalane, the spokesperson for the KZN Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, explained that the suspects were alleged to be taking the law into their own hands by stopping long-distance taxi operators to check whether they had authority to operate between KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. He said the suspects were also alleged to have taken money from the taxi drivers and passengers.

He said the department had received reports of the incidents, and therefore the police operation was undertaken in the Blood River area to restore normality.

Ncalane was also aware of the protest by taxi owners in Utrecht and assured that police were monitoring the situation.

He said meeting between the KZN MEC of Transport and South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) will be held tomorrow.

Santaco spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa was looking into the matter.

– Caxton News Service

poll

today in print