WATCH: Metered taxi driver petrol bombed in Pretoria

2017-07-05 19:15
A petrol bomb and rocks in a meter taxi that has been petrol bombed in Sunnyside. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

A petrol bomb and rocks in a meter taxi that has been petrol bombed in Sunnyside. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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Pretoria - A metered taxi driver was set alight and his vehicle petrol bombed in Sunnyside, Pretoria on Wednesday.

The latest attack is seemingly part of the ongoing feud between metered taxi drivers and Uber drivers.

The incident comes a day after another vehicle was completely destroyed after it went up in flames in nearby Hatfield on Tuesday, July 4.

The driver told police he was an Uber driver. Uber has, however, said the vehicle was not registered on their app.

The metered taxi driver, who asked not to be named, said he was sitting at one of the smaller ranks in Sunnyside when a car stopped next to him.

Easy targets

He said three men jumped out, broke his windows with rocks and threw a petrol bomb into his taxi before getting back into their car and speeding off.

"I caught fire and started running but I managed to take off my shirt which was on fire," he said.

The man sustained minor burn wounds to his back and left arm. Bystanders managed to douse the flames in the taxi before it caused any major damage.

He alleged that Uber drivers were targeting the smaller ranks where there were fewer metered taxis, making them easy targets.

News24 is in possession of the security footage of the incident.

There were two other incidents in which metered taxis were stoned and petrol bombed in Sunnyside on Wednesday.

In both of those incidents, the meter taxi drivers were not injured and managed to extinguish the flames before any real damage could be done.

Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo confirmed all three attacks and said cases of malicious damage to property and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm have been opened.

War

Masondo told News24 that police suspect the attacks on metered taxis may be in retaliation to Tuesday's incident in Hatfield.

In Tuesday's incident, the driver told police he was stopped by five vehicles, robbed and assaulted before his car was set alight.

A group of meter taxi drivers had assembled around the scene in Sunnyside where the petrol bombing occurred.


One metered taxi driver, who also asked not to be named, said there was a war between metered taxi drivers and Uber drivers because Uber had invaded their ranks and taken their business.

Another said Uber was not regulated and did not follow the same rules to which metered taxi drivers adhered.

Gauteng Metered Taxi Association spokesperson Reuben Mzayiya said he was aware of the latest attacks on metered taxis. He said he was currently in a meeting with the transport department addressing all the issues.

"Government is saying Uber is illegal, but then why are they not shutting them down?" said Mzayiya.

Mzayiya said Uber was not regulated like the metered taxis and that was the bone of contention.

News24 could not immediately get comment from the department of transport.

An inquiry was also sent to Uber SA which did not immediately respond.

Read more on:    uber  |  pretoria  |  public transport  |  crime

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