'Don't come and take videos here' - taxi drivers threaten News24 journalist

2017-06-15 11:18
Taxi protest. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

Taxi protest. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg - A News24 journalist was threatened and intimidated by taxi and truck drivers during the strike in Midrand on Thursday.

According to the News24 reporter, there was a minor altercation between a motorist and drivers at the Allendale Road, close to the entrance of Mall of Africa.

She was threatened and forced to delete the video of the altercation.

"This guy tried to get [into the mall] when three taxi drivers or truck drivers came toward him and there was an altercation. When I was taking the video, he snatched the camera and told me to delete the video," she said.

LIVE: #TaxiStrike Taxi drivers threaten commuters, media

She said one of the men pointed at her and said: "Don't take a video again. This is Santaco [South African National Taxi Council]; don't come and take videos here."

She said that while the driver was deleting her footage, the group turned on the motorist and assaulted him.

READ: 'Exorbitant pricing' of Quantum at centre of taxi strike

High interest rate

The strike began in the early hours of Thursday morning, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.

Thursday's strike was sparked by the increasing price of owning a taxi.

Santaco said it would be marching to the offices of the South African Taxi Finance offices in Midrand to hand over a memorandum of grievances to the directors of the company.

In a statement, Santaco said some members of the taxi industry had been hard hit by a high interest rate of 28%. They had also faced blacklisting due to the payment of R15 000 per month, over 72 months.

"We can't take it anymore... We apologise for any inconvenience that will be caused," said Santaco.

Meanwhile, authorities say they had impounded 18 minibus taxis in Midrand.

Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela could not confirm reports that 12 people had been killed during the strike.

"They are currently on their way to Midrand to hand over a memorandum. There has been no such thing of being killed or shots fired," Makhubela said.

He said no arrests had been made.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department Chief Superintend Wayne Minnaar said motorists were advised to avoid Midrand completely.

Minnaar said it was a "no go zone" and that Allendale Road, New Road and Olifantsfontein Road were all completely congested.

Read more on:    santaco  |  johannesburg  |  media freedom  |  protests  |  public transport

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