Chatsworth taxi security company denies using force on community
Durban - A TAXI security company has denied claims it used force on residents, saying it came under attack in Welbedacht.
On Sunday a man was shot dead, which sparked a two-day protest in the area where streets were blocked with debris and burning tyres.
Taxi Violence Unit VIP Protection director Warren Julie said the unit was called out by the Chatsworth Minibus Taxi Association to fetch its rank manager. Julie said the manager had allegedly been assaulted by residents and stabbed in his head.
“One of our vehicles arrived. The manager was put into the car. One of our guards was outside trying to help the driver navigate out of the road. Certain individuals tried to prevent my team from leaving. They placed rocks on the road. Unit members heard gunshots. One of the bullets hit the car. The shooter was identified and shot because he was an imminent threat. It is unfortunate that the person died.”
Julie said his vehicle sustained R42000 worth of damages. Police had removed a bullet that was lodged in the door panel.
“We cannot allow people to shoot at us and not retaliate. There is a misconception that we go around assaulting and killing people. Our image has been tarnished. We have been in the business since 1996. We are not irresponsible. We have co-operated with police,” Julie said.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said Chatsworth police station was investigating cases of murder, attempted murder and public violence.
“A shooting occurred between the suspects and a private taxi violence security company after a dispute, resulting in the fatal shooting of a 28-year-old man in Welbedacht East. Thereafter the community began protesting,” Mbele said.
Welbedacht Committee chairperson Siyabonga Bhala said he was waiting for a feedback meeting on Tuesday. He said residents were demanding overloading be stopped.
Chatsworth Minibus Taxi Association spokesperson Bashir Ismail could not be reached for comment.