South Africa

GROUNDUP

Taxi drivers take violent revenge on Delft protesters

This shack was set alight by angry taxi drivers on Thursday after a taxi was stoned in Delft, Cape Town, during protests. (Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik)

Shacks set alight after a taxi was hit by stones during protests in the Delft area, Cape Town.

First published by GroundUp.

At least two shacks were set alight and a man was injured after taxi drivers pursued protesters in Delft, Cape Town, on Thursday. Taxi drivers also threw stones at shack windows.

This came after stones hit a taxi transporting people in the area during protests for basic services and a stop to evictions.

A taxi driver told GroundUp the vehicle belonged to the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and it was transporting people from Nyanga. However, Victor Wiwi of Cata said no such incident was reported to it.

Residents from the recently established Winnie Mandela informal settlement had blocked Delft’s main road, Symphony Way and the N2 near Robert Sobukwe with rocks and burning tyres on Thursday.

Police used rubber bullets to disperse the protesters, who would repeatedly run into the informal settlement to regroup.

GroundUp saw a group of about 15 men carrying stones and sticks chase after the protesters in the informal settlement.

The men were the taxi drivers from the Nyanga taxi rank (which falls under Cata) and the Khayelitsha rank (which falls under Codeta – the Congress for Democratic Taxi Association).

They beat a man, who managed to get away. His shack was stoned. Some of the men went after him and apparently set fire to a shack later.

The remaining men went searching through the settlement, asking women where their husbands were and for one individual by name who they said was the protest leader and responsible for stoning the taxi.

Directed to his shack, the group kicked in the door and torched it. The man was not at home.

Chief Mtati of Codeta said no taxi stoning incident was reported to it either. “We do not have a problem with the protest but the way it is done is wrong and it also affects us. Our private cars have been stoned and when we take action they are not going to like it,” said Mtati.

Ward 20 PR Councillor Nondumiso Sono (ANC) said no decision has been taken by the City to evict the Winnie Mandela shack dwellers. Sono said schools were closed by protesters and learners were forced to return home.

Since Monday, there have been numerous protests in Cape Town for basic services, held under the banner of Intlungu yaseMatyotyombeni Movement (meaning the pain of living in shacks).

Western Cape Minister of Community Safety Albert Fritz said one person was hit by a car and killed, and four officers were injured in violent protests on Wednesday.

Fritz said protests had affected communities in Khayelitsha, Belhar, Kuilsriver and Kraaifontein. He said the protests jeopardise service delivery. DM

 

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All Comments 3

  • Well done to the taxi drivers! They take real action, unlike the police. The lawlessness in this country and the lack of consequences will drive people to take the law into their own hands. Beware what Zuma is doing as it will spawn precisely this type of action. The courts and law must wake up!

    • As much as I would like to applaud your words, the reality is supporting these taxi thugs is always wrong. This action was not a social vigilante action designed to highlight the inability of SAPS, it was pure criminality. They would burn your car for no reason at all except that it was available.

  • Which goes to prove that when the appointed authorities decline or are incapable of doing their duty, common man and vigilantes will do it for them. SAPS must start doing what they are paid to do, whenever they are required to do so.

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