Taxi drivers plan to kill traffic officers, says City of Cape Town

2015-04-09 20:34
The scene of the accident on the R101 where two people, including a child, have died after a taxi overturned. (<a href="https://twitter.com/Netwerk24" target="_blank">Netwerk24, Twitter</a>)

The scene of the accident on the R101 where two people, including a child, have died after a taxi overturned. (Netwerk24, Twitter)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town claims it has received information that "amaphela" taxi drivers are on a mission to kill at least three traffic officers on Thursday in response to a number of their vehicles being impounded.

Attempts to contact amaphela taxi drivers, to confirm the claims, were unsuccessful.

Amaphela, which means cockroach in Xhosa, refers to sedans which provide a taxi service in areas where there is a gap in public transport. Many are deemed to be unroadworthy.

Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the resolution was apparently taken at a meeting held on Thursday morning by the taxi operators.

"It was emphasised that at least three traffic officers must be shot or killed today," said Smith.

"This follows an operation by traffic officials yesterday where a number of taxis were impounded."

He said the source who provided the City with the information was reliable and this was consistent with the behaviour and conduct of amaphela drivers in the past, who he claimed had threatened and assaulted traffic officials before.

During an operation by the city's traffic service, focusing on amaphela taxis in Nyanga on Wednesday, 21 vehicles were impounded and 287 fines issued.

On Tuesday, in Mitchells Plain, officers impounded seven taxis, issued 186 fines and arrested four people for outstanding warrants, fraud, providing false information, and reckless and negligent driving.

Smith said following the information on the plan to kill officers, traffic officials were on high alert and back-up patrols on amaphela routes intensified.

The city would continue to fight to remove these unroadworthy vehicles from the road.

"We are busy planning a far more extensive operation in Nyanga which will last a whole week," said Smith.

"The city cannot be intimidated by threats of violence from taxi owners."

Read more on:    city of cape town  |  cape town  |  transport

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