TZANEEN – The operation was led by Mopani District Police Commissioner, Major General Maggie Mathebula and was conducted on Monday, 2 November through a roadblock at Letaba Cross along the R36 road, Tzaneen-Lydenburg.
“A total of 131 taxis were stopped and searched and of these, nine were impounded for non-compliance of National Road Traffic Act. The drivers of three of the nine taxis were each fined R5 000 and issued with R1 000 ticket. Two other drivers were issued with R2 000 fine and R100 for cracked windscreens,” said Police Spokesperson, Col Moatshe Ngoepe.
The operation emanated from an incident of taxi conflict whereby several vehicles were damaged and roads from Ritavi and Maake Policing areas towards Tzaneen, blocked. “Two taxi associations were fighting over the operating routes in the area and this conflict manifested in vehicle chases and caused a serious disruption of traffic flow towards Tzaneen. Two vehicles were torched and another damaged after being pelted by stones.”
Cases of malicious damage to property were opened and are still being investigated. Ngoepe added that arrests in this matter are ’eminent’.
The incident was strongly condemned by Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Genl Nneke Ledwaba, who called on taxi associations and operators to follow the legal processes in case of any dispute or disagreements rather than resorting to violence. “Those who are continue to engage in this irresponsible act, are going to be dealt with mercilessly and without compromise, concluded General Ledwaba.
The situation is still being monitored by the police.