Meter taxi driver collapses as court postpones bail application
The four accused, believed to be meter taxi drivers and a marshal, allegedly blocked a Taxify driver on his way to pick up a client on Monday.
Drivers of metered taxis seen near the Sandton Gautrain station on July 6, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Yesterday, Uber drivers and passengers around Johannesburg were intimidated and harassed by meter taxi drivers who are unhappy about sharing the same routes with the online taxi service. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Moeletsi Mabe).
A meter taxi driver accused of attacking and robbing a Taxify driver loudly collapsed to the floor when the magistrate ruled he would be spending another week in jail as his bail application was postponed.
Vincent Mashalane, 44, was among four suspects who allegedly pounced on a Taxify driver on Monday, kidnapped him, and robbed him of money near the Bosman station.
Mashalane, Justice Magagane, Pethole Mabulana and Frans Nijana appeared briefly before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday on charges of robbery and kidnapping.
This was one of several violent disputes between e-hailing taxi services and meter taxi drivers in the city, police spokesperson Captain Augustinah Selepe said yesterday.
The four, believed to be meter taxi drivers and a marshal, allegedly blocked the Taxify driver on his way to pick up a client.
“The suspects allegedly forced themselves into the victim’s car, demanded money, and threatened him that he would not be released until they had received a payment from him, which was later paid,” Selepe said.
But shortly after the magistrate made her ruling, Mashalane collapsed to the floor in the dock. According to his co-accused, the suspect was epileptic and had just taken his medication.
But staff in the court state “fits” are a normal tactic used to avoid remaining in police custody.