Car petrol bombed in 'ongoing taxi feud'

2017-07-04 17:46
Uber drivers have complained of attacks. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Uber drivers have complained of attacks. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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Pretoria - In an apparent ongoing feud between metered taxis and Uber drivers, a vehicle was petrol bombed in Hatfield, Pretoria.

No-one was seriously injured, but the vehicle was completely destroyed.

All that remained of the Toyota was the chassis, with most of the car's interior and exterior burnt beyond recognition.

Police are currently on scene taking a witness statement from the driver.

The driver, who said he was registered with Uber, appeared to have escaped the inferno with minor injuries.

It is not yet clear how events unfolded nor who was responsible.

War

A group of Uber drivers who had gathered around the wreckage alleged that a metered taxi group was responsible for the incident.

"We fear for our lives; we are not safe anymore," said one Uber driver, who asked not to be named.

He said they have had problems with pickups at Hatfield Gautrain station and the Bosman station in the CBD.

"They attack Uber drivers in the vicinity of the police who do nothing and turn you away when you open a case."

He alleged that police said they were tired of the war between the metered taxis and Uber drivers.

Another Uber driver at the scene said police said they should fight back.

Yet another alleged metered taxi drivers had attempted to hijack him in Pretoria West.

Gauteng Meter Taxi Association spokesperson Reuben Mzayiya said he was aware of the incident based only on what he had heard on the radio.

He said government was not doing enough to intervene between taxi operators.

"I would leave this on the doorstep of government. Government does not even come out with a statement," he said, alleging that "some government people" also had cars operating for Uber.

He said Uber was also not coming to the party so discussions could take place.

"They are saying [they] are an app and not a taxi operator. But that is hogwash. When people are hungry, they will resort to anything. We don't want violence. But we have been talking to government to resolve this. We don't want to see property being damaged."

Uber SA spokesperson Samantha Allenberg said while a picture of the vehicle doing the rounds on social media was not registered on the Uber app, she condemned the violence.

“That a few metered taxi operators are choosing violence and threats against those bringing choice in transportation is unacceptable. Violence only underlines why people are increasingly choosing safe, reliable alternatives like Uber.”

Police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach was not immediately available for comment.

Uber drivers have complained of attacks. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Read more on:    uber  |  pretoria  |  public transport

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