Mamelodi taxi bosses say no to Operation Fiela

2015-07-09 11:33
Mamelodi taxi drivers show their documents. (News24 Correspondent)

Mamelodi taxi drivers show their documents. (News24 Correspondent)

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Pretoria - Mamelodi taxi operators said on Thursday they don't want Operation Fiela in the township.  

"We want Operation Fiela out of Mamelodi. We can clean our own yard," said Stemer Monageng from the Mamelodi Local and Long Distance Taxi Association.

"Nobody must come with a new broom or a broom that we don't know where it's coming from. We have our own broom to sweep the dirt."

Operation Fiela was launched after a series of xenophobic attacks and has seen thousands of people being arrested, including illegal immigrants.

On Wednesday, police impounded more than 50 taxis and other vehicles in the area in a bid to stop violence against a new bus operator.

Commuters in Mamelodi were left stranded on Thursday morning as taxi drivers went on strike in protest against the police action. Monageng called on the provincial government to release the impounded vehicles.

Taxi operators became violent last week when buses operated by Autopax were introduced to replace Putco's service. Five people were injured when a Putco bus was shot at. Buses were also pelted with stones.

Documents valid, drivers licensed – taxi association

Mamelodi taxi operators insisted that their impounded taxis did have permits and should be released.

Mamelodi Amalgamated Taxi Association secretary Boni Nzishe said they wanted their vehicles back.

He maintained that the cars have valid documents and drivers have licences. He showed reporters road permits for the cars that have been impounded. He also questioned the charges written on the ticket.

"Our drivers have PdP licences, the cars have operating licences that expire in 2019. We went to check if there are any unroadworthy cars but all of them are new cars.

“Somebody is abusing their power here. We are pleading with government to release our taxis because we want peace in Mamelodi," he said.

Nzishe said the protest has been peaceful and no vehicles were damaged. He said their members had been told that if any of them were found to be stoning cars or engaging in other acts of intimidation, association leaders would personally escort them to the police station.

Autopax buses have been operating in the township under police escort. Monageng said their operators were also providing protection for the buses as they had promised government that no one will vandalize the buses while negotiations we underway.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  transport  |  protests

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