Calm returns to Rustenburg following violent taxi protest

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Karabo Ngoepe

JOHANNESBURG- Calm has returned to Rustenburg following a violent taxi protest triggered by the arrest of two drivers.

The drivers blocked roads and pelted other vehicles as they demanded the release of their colleagues. Police spokesperson Brigadier Sebata Mokgwabone said police vehicles were also damaged during the protest.

“The police in Rustenburg were summoned to intervene yesterday (Monday) at Boitekong portion of the Rustenburg Taxi Rank where taxi drivers were assaulting people. During the intervention, police cars were damaged,” he said.

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“Two taxi drivers were restrained and later released. However, before their release, other taxi drivers protested and decided not to transport commuters.”

Stranded commuters had to make alternative arrangements to get home. Mokgwabone said the situation was calmer on Tuesday with no further reports of violence or intimidation.

“The latter had to walk to their destinations. No any other incident was reported, and it has been quiet since yesterday. Cases of public violence and malicious damage to property have been opened,” he said.

There was also a picture of a burnt body circulating on social media with others claiming it was from Rustenburg and related to the protest. Mokgwabone has however refuted the claim, saying no such incident occurred in the area.

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“We do not know anything about a person that was set alight. We saw a misleading picture circulating in the social media. That picture was not taken either in Boitekong or Rustenburg,” Mokgwabone said.

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