Taxis set alight in Trust Feed protest

2009-12-18 00:00

TWO minibus taxis were set alight, roads were blocked, tyres burnt and traffic was obstructed in protests involving disputes between community members and taxi associations at Trust Feed in New Hanover on Wednesday and yesterday.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said that yesterday about 500 community members from the area protested against a taxi association that is allegedly operating illegally in the area.

She said that yesterday morning police received a report that motor vehicles had been set alight. At the scene, police found two white minibus taxis had been damaged.

It is believed that the owner was asleep when he was notified that his minibus taxis were on fire. Jeevan said that the owner immediately put out the fire.

Police believe that the incident may be linked to the public violence that occurred on Wednesday morning.

A case of malicious damage to property has been opened. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Jeevan said that it is believed that a blue Mazda 323 equipped with loudspeakers was encouraging the protesters while they were singing and hurling insults at other taxi operators and members of the South African Police Service on Wednesay.

After numerous requests from the police, the protesters calmed down and dispersed.

Jeevan said, “Two females and a male person were arrested at the scene for public violence.

“The Mazda 323 sedan, blue in colour, that was used during the incident was confiscated and impounded at the SAPS Pietermaritzburg vehicle safeguarding unit.

“No injuries were sustained.”

Jeevan said the three arres­ted suspects are expected to make an appearance in the New Hanover Magistrate’s Court shortly.

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