Take the taxi, or else ...

2011-09-29 00:00

EMPLOYEES at the Ma Baker bakery near Mkondeni were on Tuesday attacked by a group of “drunken” young people claiming to be affiliated with the local taxi industry, a source said yesterday.

They demanded that the employees stop using lift clubs and instead use minibus taxis to travel to and from work.

The incident has left many employees, mostly women, so traumatised that yesterday morning they reportedly went to work by taxi.

The source said that at about 4.30 pm on Tuesday afternoon a taxi filled with youth who were intoxicated pulled up outside the Ma Baker parking lot outside the bakery’s gate.

He said the youth intimidated the workers and told them to stop riding in lift clubs and to use the minibus taxis.

The youth started pulling some of the people out of cars they were in, already on their way home.

Some of the youths also exposed their private parts to the employees, the source added.

“These employees were using another minibus taxi to get to work.

“They are using private vehicles belonging to people who already work there as lift clubs because they are trying to save money in any way they can.

“These youth had no right to do what they did because there is no law which demands that people should not travel in lift clubs.”

The source said the employees were afraid of intimidation so yesterday morning they decided to take minibus taxis to work.

There were also rumours that the intimidation was widespread in the Mkondeni area.

Police said there were unconfirmed reports of taxi-related intimidation in other parts of that area.

Russell Moore, the managing director of Ma Baker, said the workers had also been intimidated a few years ago.

He said they the bakery has not opened a case with the police and has opted instead to deal with the taxi association.

But if the intimidation continues, Moore said, it will open a case with the police.

Boy Zondi of the Msunduzi Taxi Association said the members are not aware of the incident, but they do not condone acts of intimidation.

If the culprits do belong to the taxi industry, they will be dealt with by their associations, he said.

thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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