Journalist shot in the face as Mbalula warns taxis against lawlessness

A reporter was shot in the cheek, by police on Monday. Image: Twitter/@ MweliMasilela

WARNING: Image may be sensitive for some viewers. Shots have been fired in some areas around the country as police attempt to ensure order.

Reporter Mweli Masilela has been shot in the face on Monday during the conflict between taxi operators, and police in KwaNyamazane in Mpumalanga.

According to a tweet from the reporter, while covering a taxi protest, police fired rubber bullets. Only a few minutes after arriving in the area to cover the story, police arrived to disperse taxi drivers who were blocking roads leading to the townships.

As taxi ranks across the country operate differently, some filling taxis to capacity, while others adhere to lockdown regulation of a 70% loading capacity, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has urged operators to express their dissatisfaction proactively, and not by challenging the law.

While at a press briefing on Monday morning, he confirmed the taxi industry was fast on a collision course with law enforcement.

“We cannot achieve these things by a state of lawlessness. You’re setting yourselves on a collision course with the state. In that instance, the law will have to be maintained.

“You’re daring the law, you’re challenging the authority of the state. There’s no need to do that.”

In Johannesburg, the Faraday Taxi Association, including the Bree Taxi Rank, adhered to the Covid-19 lockdown regulations, by continuing to load taxis at 70% capacity.

A storm is brewing in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal as taxi operators have closed off a highway.

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