Rubber and real bullets fly in Kwadakuza

2011-06-08 23:19

KwaDukuza - Two people who died during protests over fare increases in KwaDukuza were killed by live bullets, the police said on Wednesday.

"It has emerged that they were not killed by rubber bullets, as reported, but real bullets," said Director Phindile Radebe.

She said police were investigating allegations that the were killed by security guards hired by taxi associations.

"The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) is also investigating," she said.

Police commissioner General Bheki Cele was meeting with taxi associations in KwaDukuza on Wednesday in an attempt to end to the protests over fare increases.

The protests started on Monday when taxi fares went up from R4.50 to R7. Protesters said they could not afford the new fare.

"We want them to increase it by 50 cents. That is what we can afford," said Nomusa Dlamini.

She said the increase was unfair because taxi operators did not have the capacity to transport the community.

Busses better

"They decided to kick out the buses a few years ago and now they [are] unable to transport us. We have to wait far too long before we get taxis in the mornings and afternoons," she said.

The bus fares were also reasonable, she said.

Scores of police officers and a police helicopter, monitored the situation in the area on Wednesday.

The R102 between the Shakaskraal and Gledhow off-ramps remained closed to traffic.

On Wednesday, municipal workers removed burnt tyres and other objects left by the protesters.

Locals were forced to walk to their destinations as no taxis were running.

During the protests, two cars, a truck and a police officer's home were torched. Police rescued the occupants of the truck, but failed to save the furniture and paint it was carrying.

The Wednesday meeting began at 10:00. By 17:00, no solution had been found.

It was attended by the department of transport and safety and community liaison officials.

"There are proposals on the table. We are optimistic that we will soon reach an agreement," said provincial safety and community liaison department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  service delivery
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