Police check for stolen taxis in Mamelodi

2015-07-10 13:22
Taxis impounded in Mamelodi, Pretoria. (Supplied, News24 Correspondent)

Taxis impounded in Mamelodi, Pretoria. (Supplied, News24 Correspondent)

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Pretoria - The confusion over the return of taxis that were impounded after violence in Mamelodi continued on Friday, with officials combing through the vehicles to check if any are stolen.

Department of Community Safety spokesperson Thapelo Moiloa said if any of the taxis are found to have been reported as stolen, the operators will be arrrested.

More than 50 police officers have surrounded the pound at Koedoespoort, while more officials inside are checking that Quantums and Nissans, which ferry thousands of commuters daily, are roadworthy and that the documentation is in order.

Meanwhile, taxi operators met behind closed doors in nearby Mamelodi ahead of a meeting scheduled with Gauteng Premier David Makhura later on Friday.

They had been under the impression that their vehicles, which provide their livelihood, would be returned to them on Friday. The vehicles were confiscated in a violent dispute over the introduction in the area of new bus operator AutoPax.

But the government has disputed that it gave that undertaking.

Stemer Monageng from the Mamelodi Local and Long Distance Taxi Association claimed that government was wrong to impound their taxis and an agreement had been reached to rectify that.

He said the decision was taken after a meeting with stakeholders where they showed documents proving that their vehicles are legitimate and should not have been impounded.

Monageng said they would collect their cars on Friday morning, effectively ending their strike.

But this was not to be, as officials went from vehicle to vehicle on Friday to do their checks.

On Wednesday police impounded more than 50 taxis and other vehicles in the area in a bid to stop violence against Autopax, which replaced Putco's service. Five people were injured when someone shot at a Putco bus. Other buses were pelted with stones. 

On Thursday commuters who depend on the taxis were left stranded as drivers went on strike in protest over the issue.

Makhura is expected to meet operators at 15:00 on Friday at his office in Johannesburg. 

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  transport

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