Vagrants’ belongings burnt in city

2018-11-12 11:06
Chaos erupted in the CBD on Friday.

Chaos erupted in the CBD on Friday.

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Pietermaritzburg’s CBD erupted in chaos on Friday morning when taxi operators allegedly began burning the belongings of vagrants in the area.

Taxi operators allegedly accused vagrants of committing crimes in town and within the taxi ranks.

A Safe City employee, who asked not to be named, said they watched the mayhem unfold through the Safe City CCTV cameras.

The source said a group of people, believed to be taxi operators from the Retief Street taxi rank, started burning the vagrants’ belongings on the road at around 9 am on Friday.

“The vagrants moved to the vacant land across from the taxi rank but the municipal security came and moved them,” said the source. “The vagrants started moving downtown and the police and municipal security were following them around.”

South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) uMgungundlovu region chairperson Bheki Sokhela told Weekend Witness that he had not heard about the incident and could not comment.

However, he said the taxi industry has complained about the vagrants at the Retief Street rank. “The public cannot use the toilets at that rank as there are groups of vagrants gathered there day and night,” he said.

“Commuters resort to urinating around the rank in fear of being mugged by those vagrants.”

Sokhela said the council had raised the issue with the municipality, as well as the fact that there is a tavern inside the rank, which also causes chaos. “We as Santaco are against our taxi ranks being misused by troublemakers. People are now scared to go to taxi ranks because of crime and that affects business.

The KZN police media centre did not respond to an inquiry sent to them about the incidents.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  vagrants
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