Buses stoned as taxi fight in Durban intensifies

2015-09-23 13:15
Irate commuters wait for a bus on Warwick Junction, Durban. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Irate commuters wait for a bus on Warwick Junction, Durban. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Durban – Four suspects who allegedly stoned buses in the Durban central business district (CBD) were arrested on Wednesday. These isolated cases of violence have surfaced as the Durban taxi strike entered its third day.

Provincial police spokesperson major Thulani Zwane said four suspects were arrested in the CBD after they had apparently thrown stones at buses operating in the area.

“The suspects indicated they were stoning the buses because they do not want any form of public transport operating in the area. No injuries have been reported.

“Four suspects, aged 21 and 39, were arrested for public violence and are expected to appear in court. The members will continue patroling the Durban CBD and surrounding areas. We are not aware of the other incidents.”

The taxi strike comes after eThekwini Municipality impounded over 300 taxis and buses over the weekend.

The operation was part of route permit enforcement and comes at a time of simmering tensions in the Durban minibus taxi industry.

In May, when a similar clampdown was enforced, the city centre was shut down amid violent protests by taxi drivers and owners. Police fired teargas and rubber bullets at mobs of taxi drivers who damaged buildings and municipal vehicles.

Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Democratic Alliance (DA) provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango on Wednesday described the current taxi strike "as unlawful and unauthorised".

"At the most recent [executive committee] meeting it was agreed the large-scale taxi impound we had discussed would not proceed until a solution with regards to the permits is found through negotiations.”

He said the eThekwini exco must urgently meet and reach a decision on the taxi permits.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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