Taxi drivers ‘are no victims’

2015-05-05 06:00

Residents in De Wet Road, Ottery, say they fear for their safety due to taxi operations in the area.

After a spike in gang-related incidents which includes daily shootings, residents say they are concerned for the safety because “taxi drivers are involved”.

One such resident, who did not want to be named out of fear of victimisation, says what People’s Post previously reported (“Thieves target taxis”, 17 March) is “untrue”.

“These taxi drivers who say their lives are in danger are just playing a pity game. They are not victims at all because they are involved with the gang activity,” the man alleges. According to the resident taxi drivers who operate on De Wet Road have affiliations to gangsters who are in a turf battle in the area. “Because we live in the area we already know who the people are that are involved in gangster activities. The fact that they stopped working on De Wet Road was because the fight was getting too heated and they had to steer clear of the area,” he adds.

“Although robberies have occurred in the Ottery area, it cannot be said that the incidents are Ottery-specific. Gang violence is happening all over and the taxi drivers are not being targeted. They are not as innocent as they claim.”

He doesn’t, however, discredit the real issues in the Grassy Park community, who currently find themselves in the midst of a gang battle.

“I’m not saying crime isn’t a real issue in our area. It is just sad that this is happening ... something drastic needs to be done.”

Grassy Park police could not confirm the allegations but acting station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Christian Esau has encouraged residents to come forward with information. Anybody with information is urged to contact Constable Anthea Manasse of the crime information office on 079 894 1687 with any information. V

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