Four arrested over transport incidents

2015-12-17 06:00

FOUR people have been arrested by police for four out of the eight cases opened during the lift club and taxi problems experienced in Tongaat recently.

These cases emerged after taxi bosses took to the main entrances and exits around Tongaat to stop lift clubs from operating at the start of November.

Provincial SAPS communications officer Brigadier Jay Naicker said many reports were received from lift club operators that they were being intimidated, however, none of them wanted to open criminal cases.

"On 19 November 2015, lift club operators approached the cluster commander who advised them to open cases in order for investigation processes to be embarked upon. A total of eight cases of assault, intimidation, theft and pointing of firearm was opened," said Naicker.

Naicker said four arrests have been made in four cases, and the other four cases are under investigation as the complainants cannot positively identify the alleged suspects.
"From the time when it was alleged that taxi operators were stopping and intimidating lift club operators, police were deployed at the strategic points where these incidents were allegedly occurring and no incidents occurred in the presence of the police or on the routes patrolled. On 26 November another meeting was held with the Department of Transport (DoT)," he said.

At this meeting, a DoT representative addressed the taxi association members and lift club operators and categorically stated that lift clubs cannot operate without the relevant permits and the taxi association cannot stop people they believe are operating lift clubs as it is not in their mandate.

"Both parties left the meeting with a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Since then to date there have been no reports from either parties of any contraventions and the situation is stable, but being monitored by police daily," said Naicker.

KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said: “We appeal to all parties to work within the confines of the law. SAPS had intervened appropriately and immediately when the matter was brought to their attention, contrary to reports in certain media. We will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action when our laws are broken."

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