Two injured in Durban's ongoing taxi strike – paramedics

2016-03-30 17:19

Durban – One person was shot in the face, and another was injured after apparently jumping off a bridge into a cemetery in an attempt to escape the ongoing taxi strike, paramedics said on Wednesday.

ER24 spokesperson Pieter Rossouw warned commuters to stay clear of Warwick Junction and the cemetery as a riot believed to involve taxi drivers had turned volatile.

"ER24 responded to an incident where a person sustained a gunshot wound to the face. ER24 paramedics treated and transported the patient to Addington Hospital for further treatment.

"Another person allegedly jumped off a bridge and landed in the Warwick General Cemetery, in an attempt to escape the riot and sustained moderate injuries including fractures."

Rossouw said the man was transported to the hospital for further treatment.

Hundreds of commuters were left stranded as taxi drivers embarked on a strike involving short and long distance taxis. There were no taxis operating in the CBD on Wednesday and several roads were blocked, with protesters allegedly preventing commuters from taking taxis.

Barricades and disrupted traffic

On Tuesday, taxi operators barricaded the N2 and R102 in Mandeni, disrupting traffic.

KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC Willies Mchunu said a group of taxi operators from various parts of the province came together and barricaded the N2 along the uThukela Bridge near Mandeni.

Mchunu said the ongoing protest was over 200 taxis impounded during an Easter holiday blitz. Taxi operators were demanding the release of their taxis. They are also angry over the slowness of the transport department in issuing operating licences, said Mchunu.

Department of transport spokesperson Nathi Sukazi said more than 96 000 vehicles had been stopped during the holiday operation.

"About 20 000 charges were written for various defects and violations. In addition, 246 drivers were caught driving under the influence of alcohol, 37 were arrested for speeding, 1 802 did not have driver licences, 1 631 had unlicensed vehicles and 207, mainly taxis, were impounded for not having operating licences, across the province."

Sukazi said protesters were on the wrong side of the law.

"There should not be a view that you can break the law without any consequences. We have to make sure that laws are adhered to by ensuring that those who are ferrying commuters have legitimate documentation."

Mchunu was expected to meet industry leaders to resolve the issue.




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