Residents block road

2015-07-08 06:00
JUST HERE: Ruben Tsatsinyane points to the spot where he found his uncle after he had been knocked down by a taxi last Wednesday.

Sidwell Guduka

JUST HERE: Ruben Tsatsinyane points to the spot where he found his uncle after he had been knocked down by a taxi last Wednesday. Photo: Sidwell Guduka

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UNHAPPY residents of Batho and Bochabela, Bloemfontein, on Saturday staged a protest in a bid to get the mayor’s attention.

The angry mob barricaded Fort Hare Road, preventing cars from entering or passing through, and demanded the construction of speed humps on the busy Mangaung road to reduce accidents.

The angry protesters were reacting after a man was hit by a speeding taxi on Wednesday afternoon. He died on the scene.

The protests resulted in the temporary closure of Fort Hare Road between 17:00 on Saturday and 12:00 on Sunday, forcing motorists to use alternative roads.

Protesters have vowed they would continue to close the road until the executive mayor of the Mangaung Metro, Thabo Manyoni, comes to address them.

Ruben Tsatsinyane (33) from Bochabela said the protests began after his uncle, Mosalagae Tsatsinyane, had been knocked down by a taxi on Wednesday.

“We are devastated. He was a good guy and didn’t deserve to die like that. We are struggling to come to terms with his death,” Tsatsinyane told Express.

“As residents we are sick and tired of seeing people being killed on this road, especially by speeding taxis. We want the municipality to construct speed humps here as a matter of urgency. Otherwise, this road will claim more lives,” he said.

His words were echoed by Mamello Thafeni (21) who said only speed humps would save people’s lives.

“This road is notorious for deadly accidents. A month hardly passes without a person being hit by a car. We have seen many people die here. It was sad to see Ntate Mosalagae’s lifeless body lying under a taxi. He didn’t deserve to die like that. As the community we feel that one death is one too many. We want the municipality to build speed humps on this road. I believe speed humps will solve all our problems,” said Thafeni.

Capt. Mamiki Moeketsi of the police confirmed Wednesday’s death on Fort Hare Road.

“A 48-year-old man was knocked down by a taxi last Wednesday. Unfortunately he died on the scene,” said Moeketsi.

“As for the people who were involved in blockading the road with rocks and burning tyres, we have arrested four suspects. They will appear in court this week,” she added.

Qondile Khedama, the Mangaung Metro spokesperson, said his municipality was aware of the protest in Ward 3.

“The executive mayor has moved swiftly to quell the situation. He instructed the relevant engineers to immediately install temporary speed humps to calm vehicle’s speed on Fort Hare Road whilst they are dealing with the technical details,” said Khedama.

“We are confident that this move will be appreciated by residents of Ward 3 and will go a long way in reducing fatalities,” he added.

Khedama explained that the metro had received a number of requests throughout its three regions and Fort Hare Road forms part of the roads prioritised for speed humps in the current financial year. “We want to bring it to the attention of citizens that not every street deserves speed humps. They (speed humps) have to be in line with the road safety regulations,” said Khedama

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