City of Cape Town slams ‘thuggish’ violence

2015-04-21 16:34
(<a href="https://twitter.com/TheCapeArgus/status/590411153425178625" target="_blank">Cape Argus, Twitter</a>)

(Cape Argus, Twitter)

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Cape Town – City of Cape Town councillor JP Smith has condemned the transport protests that took place in Nyanga on Tuesday, after two buses and a large delivery vehicle were set alight.

"We cannot condone this type of behaviour, as it is aimed at intimidating and undermining our enforcement efforts,” Smith said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This morning, City of Cape Town Traffic Service staff continued with an enforcement operation focusing on ‘amaphela’ taxis in Nyanga when they were approached by members of the local taxi association who attempted to persuade them not to proceed with the operation.

“They left the area, stating that the ‘situation will develop as it goes on’ – a statement taken by our staff as a direct threat.”

‘Riotous’

On Tuesday, News24 reported that numerous roads in Nyanga were closed following a "riotous" situation that required police intervention.

Golden Arrow bus services confirmed that two of its buses had been set alight, while a third was stoned.

Minor injuries were reported at the time, while roads were closed in the area. Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut told News24 that public violence case dockets would be registered.

Smith, the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, said that the city’s operation proved that very few of the ‘amaphelas’ that were stopped met the requirements of the National Road Traffic Act.

“Officers impounded a total of 16 vehicles – 15 drivers did not have valid operating licences and one was operating contrary to the conditions of their licence,” Smith said.

“They also served 51 warrants valued at R52 700, issued nine warnings, arrested three drivers for outstanding warrants, and issued 194 fines for various transgressions, including 36 unlicensed drivers.

‘Thuggish behaviour’

 “I have said it before and I will say it again: no one is above the law and we will not allow this thuggish behaviour to derail our efforts at ensuring safer roads through compliance in the public transport industry,” added Smith.

Smith was approached on Monday to set up an urgent meeting with the taxi association in Nyanga, but said in his statement that negotiations could only continue if the violence ceased.

“Given what happened this morning, I have cancelled this meeting as I refuse to negotiate with people involved in public violence.

"I could reconsider such a meeting after we conclude our operations in Nyanga at the end of next week,” Smith concluded.

Read more on:    city of cape town  |  jp smith  |  cape town  |  protests  |  taxi violence

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