Metro cops have impounded more than 300 taxis - Santaco

2015-05-26 13:18
Taxis. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Taxis. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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WATCH: Durban taxi strikers set alight eThekwini parks lorry

2015-05-26 13:07

Durban taxi strikers set alight an eThekwini parks lorry. WATCH. WATCH

Durban - A crowd of about 1 000 taxi drivers and owners on Tuesday marched from Botha Gardens to the former Durban drive-in, where between 30 and 40 taxis had been impounded.

The metro's SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) branch said on Tuesday that taxi owners in eThekwini were seriously affected by metro police impounding vehicles every day.

Tusuf Khaliva, Santaco's eThekwini secretary, said more than 300 taxis had been taken off the road by metro police.

"Today we are here [at the drive-in]. As you see our vehicles are impounded by metro police. We are talking of numbers in excess of 300 vehicles. So what you are seeing here is the overflow of the main [im]pound," he told journalists at the roadside.

"We spoke to our owners yesterday and they... say this is an ongoing thing. They do not have vehicles any more on the road. So they then decided to say... it's best we sit down and talk to them and we get these vehicles released and then we can operate."

He said their members were struggling to operate as their vehicles were continually being impounded by metro police. 

"Every day we find people just being offloaded in the middle of the road with no alternative transport offered by metro police," Khaliva said.

Rubber bullets and teargas

Moments after Khaliva finished talking to reporters, taxi drivers and owners began stoning around 60 police at the drive-in.

Police responded by firing rubber bullets and tear gas.  

Shortly afterwards, the drivers and owners began marching to the City Hall. Some of the marchers damaged a water main, causing flooding on Sylvester Ntuli street.

Staff from George Campbell High School watched as the marchers left the area, throwing more stones and rocks as they went.

On the way to the City Hall, police fired more rubber bullets and tear gas. Six men were arrested.  

Earlier, the taxi owners and drivers had overturned municipal bins, burnt trash and vandalised eThekwini metro police cars on their way to the drive-in.

They warned reporters and members of the public not to photograph them on their cellphones. In at least one instance, a bystander was forced into joining the marchers.

Earlier, protesting taxi drivers made a gruesome find while marching in central Durban on Tuesday.

The body of a baby fell out of one of the municipal bins they had been tipping over.

RescueCare spokesperson Garrith Jamieson said paramedics found the dead baby lying in the road. He added that the body had apparently been run over by passing cars.

“This is the most horrific thing I have ever seen. The baby seemed to be a couple of months old and the body was fairly decomposed," the veteran medic said.

Read more on:    santaco  |  durban  |  transport  |  protests

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