‘Pirate’ drivers fuelling murderous Tshwane taxi rampage – TMTA

A Taxify driver was burned to death and several taxis torched in Sunnyside, allegedly by unlicensed metered taxi drivers.

The Tshwane Meter Taxi Association (TMTA) has distanced itself from violence between meter taxi operators and the app-based service Taxify, after several taxis were burned yesterday morning, leading to the tragic death of a driver.

Taxify driver Siyabonga Mbonambi, 21, was found burned to death, trapped in the boot of a burned car after he was allegedly attacked by meter taxi drivers in Sunnyside on Thursday night.

According to the owner of the vehicle, Blessing Maswanganyi, Mbonambi had parked near meter taxis in Sunnyside while picking up a client.

The group of meter taxi drivers allegedly charged at Mbonambi’s vehicle and dragged the client out of the car before throwing Mbonambi into the boot.

“They put him in the boot and drove away with him. Then they torched the car while he was inside. I reported this to Taxify, whom I met with after the incident, and they are working with police to sort out the matter. But this is concerning. By the look of things, this is just the beginning. The worst is yet to come. We need proper security,” Maswanganyi told Saturday Citizen.

Shortly after the announcement of the horrific killing, two meter taxis were attacked and torched on the corners of Hamilton and Pretorius streets.

Sunnyside police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela said the cars were attacked by a group of 20 people yesterday afternoon.

“One of the vehicles had the driver inside and the group of 20 people pelted it with stones and attacked the driver, who eventually managed to flee. The group returned to his vehicle and torched it. Nearly 100m away, another stationary meter taxi, that had no occupants, was also torched by the same group,” he said.

Cases of murder, malicious damage to property and assault were under investigation.

Member of the TMTA Oupa Magano said it was a group of meter taxi “pirates” who were responsible.

“We are very disappointed by what happened because it is not us doing these things. I know what I am talking about. There is a group of people, pirates, who have no operating licences. We distance ourselves from these happenings.

“We even wrote a letter to the City of Tshwane, explaining to them that we are not involved in any of this violence. We are disappointed because they are spoiling the name of operators in Tshwane,” Magano told Saturday Citizen.

The Department of Transport condemned the “inhumane” killing.

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