Estcourt mayor ‘charged for taxis without permit’

2009-10-23 00:00

UMTSHEZI (Estcourt) Mayor Lymon Shelembe has allegedly been operating his taxis in the area without a permit. It is also said that one of his taxis was impounded earlier this week.

Sources in the Transport Department and the department’s Public Transport Enforcement Unit (PTEU), popularly known as Operation Shanela, also alleged that Shelembe’s bodyguards have illegally removed taxis without permits — and even those with permits — from operating on certain routes, to allow for his seven taxis to operate there.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, the sources, who wished to remain anonymous, said Shelembe is expected to appear in court today to pay a fine of R5 000 for his taxi to be released from the pound.

The sources said Shelembe’s taxi was impounded on Tuesday for alle­gedly operating without a permit, and that the mayor was expected to appear in court on Wednesday. They said Shelembe made an application to the local court to bar the public from attending as he is a popular political figure, adding that he asked that only he and his legal team and the prosecutors be allowed in court.

Shelembe denied that he has taxis and that he will appear in court. He also denied that his bodyguards were preventing other taxis from operating.

He said his wife owns a taxi, which is registered in his name. Shelembe said this taxi was impounded on Tuesday, but not for operating without a permit. “The allegations are cheap po­liticking. The taxi is still new, it was bought on Monday, and it might not be used for ferrying people,” he said.

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