Protesters demand taxi drivers' release

2012-05-18 20:41

Durban - Police used teargas and stun grenades to disperse taxi drivers in Durban on Friday, on the second day of protests against the eThekwini metro police.

They retaliated when about 100 protesters - some wielding metal pipes, knobkierries, planks, pangas, fire extinguishers and hockey sticks - threw rocks at them.

A group of about 80 protesters also converged outside the Durban Magistrate's Court.

Spokesperson for eThekwini metro police, Superintendent Eugene Msomi, said the number of arrests were yet to be tallied, but presumed the figure was at about 15.

He said protesters had gathered at the court to demand the release of fellow protesters who were arrested on Thursday.

"Today we [arrested] public transport people intimidating other people until their friends were released."

Msomi said police had a meeting on Friday, and were confident the situation would be resolved.

SA Police Service spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said he would issue a press statement on Friday's protest, but instead sent one from the events of the first day of the protest.

Another five people were arrested for disturbances on the corner of Berea and Canongate roads.

Earlier, Eugene Hadebe, chairperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance, spoke to the drivers, who then headed to the eThekwini transport authorities.

The clashes took place when they returned.

Prior to the clashes, police had stationed riot vehicles and a water cannon at Botha Gardens.

Police were attempting to negotiate with the drivers to disperse. The drivers claimed the metro police were unfairly targeting them.

On Thursday, police fought running battles with the drivers throughout the city centre. At least 20 people were arrested.

  • shooshyu.tu - 2012-05-18 21:07

    Keep them locked up & confiscate their taxis.

  • IcemanGP - 2012-05-18 21:27

    Cops don't target them enough, as they still drive like they own the road.

  • Imran - 2012-05-18 21:44

    They think they a law unto themselves,Show No Mercy..Govt and police should not allow any march to take place when people are brandishing weapons,be it sticks,knobkerries,pangas or whatever.If I had my way there would be a couple less taxi drivers in this country a long time ago..

  • Lacrimose - 2012-05-18 21:56

    Metal pipes, knopkierries, planks, pangas, fire extinguishers, hockey sticks, rocks. Is their no rational forum to address issues or is this where people ended up after all rational forums were exhausted?

      Mewik - 2012-05-18 22:51

      These guys are super rational, they refrained from using all the weapons and threw rocks. Apparently rocks are a legitimate form of communication in SA these days.

      Vernon - 2012-05-19 07:53

      @mewik,there is another which is legitimate,fire. thank the almighty these fools did not use it

  • Siyabonga - 2012-05-19 00:25

    Well we need taxi driver's those of us who depend on public transportation, but I think they didn't address there issue in a proper manner. Where are taxi association representatives,there are the ones who should have taken the driver's issue to the govt

  • mbuyisenim2 - 2012-05-19 05:59

    When the intellectual fails, physical power take place. The solution of uneducated people is fighting, they do not believe in negotiations. if they drive they only drive,nd dnt think 4 other road users. they deck anywhere irresponsible of what will happen 2 other road users. allowing someone 2 drive re car iz indirectly disposing R300 000 in 2 the toilet. Taxi drivers should learn 2 respect other road users, and also passengers. Passengers are the source of their income. I salute...... great job bafana hands off.

  • sihle.zondie - 2012-05-19 08:30

    I hope it gets resolved immediately,cos they can bring the city to a standstill.some say \nothing is more dangerous than an angry mob\,i say nothings' more dangerous than an uneducated,angry mob

  • sihle.zondie - 2012-05-19 08:31

    I hope it gets resolved immediately,cos they can bring the city to a standstill.some say \nothing is more dangerous than an angry mob\,i say nothings' more dangerous than an uneducated,angry mob

  • Le Voora Shuku - 2012-05-19 09:17

    i think both parties are to be blamed,gov is so hard headed when it comes peoples needs and now hes up against a mob of taxi drivers bt its also not fair for commuters to be unable to go to work because of being chase out of the taxis by the taxi drivers.

  • Jacqui - 2012-05-19 13:49

    This is what you get when the uneducated and the stupid are led to believe they are above the law.

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