BRITS, July 11 – A minibus taxi was set alight and ten other vehicles damaged in taxi violence over route disputes in Letlhabile, near Brits, on Wednesday, North West police said.
“According to information available at this stage, earlier today, one taxi belonging a member of Hebron Taxi Association was set alight while approximately 10 others belonging to Letlhabile Taxi Association members were stoned and damaged.
“It is further alleged that one Hebron Taxi Association operator was allegedly shot at while at Oskraal village. He was taken to hospital for medical treatment,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone.
He said the situation was calm and both taxi associations – the Hebron Taxi Association (HEBTA) and Letlhabile Taxi Association (LEBULDT) – were not operating.
The two taxi associations were in dispute over the Brits route.
Johannes Tumanyane, secretary of the Letlhabile Taxi Association, said Hebron Taxi Association wanted to operate from New Town direct to Brits. New Town is a new settlement near Letlhabile.
He said Hebron had been given an operating license on the New Town-Brits route, but the problem was that they would also go into Letlhabile to offload passengers and there was a possibility that they would take people from Letlhabile to Brits.
“We have been operating peacefully with Hebron Taxi Association, they transported people from Letlhabile to Hebron, we do not have a problem with that.
“They were given operating license without loco inspection. There is a meeting on Thursday and an inspection will be conducted for the licensing board to see the area and align the operating license accordingly.”
He said ten minibus taxis belonging to Letlhabile Taxi Association were damaged and another taxi that was not part of their association was torched.
Hebron Taxi Association said it would comment later on the incident as they were busy at the police opening cases.
Private motor vehicles were moving freely in Letlhabile and police were monitoring the situation.
– African News Agency (ANA)