File picture: Courtney Africa / Independent Media.
Johannesburg - The dispute over operations between metered and e-hailing taxi drivers has escalated from fist fights, breaking car windscreens and damaging car tyres to burnt vehicles and shots being fired.

Two people were seriously injured on Wednesday, one a metered-taxi driver who was shot while waiting to pick up passengers at Menlyn Mall. The driver is fighting for his life in hospital.

In another incident, a metered taxi was set alight just as it dropped off a passenger in Sunnyside, Pretoria.

The vehicle was apparently petrol-bombed while the driver and his brother were still inside it.

Both made it out of the vehicle alive but the driver was taken to hospital suffering from possible smoke inhalation.

The incident was suspected to be in retaliation for attacks by metered taxi drivers.

However, Gauteng Meter Taxi Council secretary Hendrick Ndou couldn’t confirm that the attack on the vehicle was by other metered taxi drivers.

“I understand there are disputes between e-hailing taxis and us but I cannot say for sure who attacked who. One of our drivers was shot and is in hospital but I can’t point the incident to Uber drivers.

“Furthermore, a metered taxi was hijacked in Braamfontein and found burnt at Mooikloof and we are not pointing fingers even with our misunderstanding with e-hailing drivers,” he said.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said they were investigating two incidents where drivers were assaulted.

“A case of malicious damage to property and assault with grievous bodily harm has been opened but no arrests have been made yet,” Dlamini said.

Both attacks occurred a day before metered taxi drivers planned to march and protest at the Gautrain head office. Permission for the march was denied by the Joburg metro police.

“We had a meeting and handed over a memorandum of demands to the Department of Transport’s executive director Piet Mahlangu,” Ndou said.

Pretoria News