CNS Reporter
2 minute read
12 Feb 2020
3:13 pm

Violence erupts in eMbalenhle and Evander as Megabus, Vukta taxi association clash

CNS Reporter

The Vukanini Taxi Association said the situation in eMbalenhle got out of hand after police contravened a resolution that was taken in a mediation meeting on Monday.

Megabus came under attack in front of the Gert Sibande College’s Evander campus on Wednesday. Image: Facebook screenshot/Ridge Times

A clash between police and taxi drivers erupted on Tuesday afternoon in eMbalenhle, Mpumalanga, after taxi drivers allegedly impounded two buses belonging to Megabus, reports Ridge Times.

Police intervened and escorted the buses to a place of safety.

The police’s tactical response team was activated to intervene when shots were allegedly fired in the clash.

Drivers closed the intersection near the Mall@Emba with burning tyres.

According to reliable sources, the taxi drivers then attacked the police.

Violence continued on Wednesday, with the R546 between eMbalenhle and Standerton declared a no-go zone for motorists and commuters on Wednesday morning.

Trucks parked across the road to Sasol’s Charlie 3 entrance as well as in other parts of the township. A second truck at Charlie 3 was set alight at about midnight.

Alf Byleveldt from Jelani Security was just in time to bring the fire under control in the cabin of the petrol tanker before it spread. The Govan Mbeki municipal fire brigade extinguished the blaze.

Roads in the township were also strewn with rocks and debris this morning, making them inaccessible.

The intersection at Ext 12 and the road towards Graceland was also blocked off.

No taxis or buses are operational.

Later on Wednesday, police began clearing some of the roads that were blocked.

Megabus then later came under attack in front of the Gert Sibande College’s Evander campus. The windows of two buses were smashed before the vehicles made it to safety.

In a video recording by an unknown source, a gang of men jump out of a taxi and move in on a bus.

A police officer was also shot in the arm and was taken to the hospital, a reliable source revealed. It is alleged he was shot near Blue Rank next to the mall.

According to information, police have made several arrests.

Schools are closed and many businesses, including the Mall@Emba, are closed.

Fanyana Sibanyoni, chairperson for Vukanini Taxi Association, said the situation in eMbalenhle got out of hand after police contravened a resolution that was taken in a mediation meeting that was held on Monday, 10 February.

He said it was resolved that buses would transport only learners until the matter is resolved.

However, they were shocked when they saw police escorting buses carrying workers from Sasol.

He said Vukta retaliated because this was against the resolution. Sibanyoni said Vukta did not intend to be violent.

He said today, the association will be meeting the MEC for community safety, security and liaison, Gabisile Shabala, to discuss the matter.

“We just had a meeting with the taxi owners to tell them that they must instruct their drivers to go back [to] work.

“The problem is that if they drive around, they are being shot at by police.”

He said taxis would be operating and urged police to stop shooting at them.

The Ridge Times is still waiting for a police statement.

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