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Dozens arrested following #taxiprotest near OR Tambo

Suspects arrested following protests near OR Tambo airport. Picture: Twitter @GTP_Traffstats

Suspects arrested following protests near OR Tambo airport. Picture: Twitter @GTP_Traffstats

Published Oct 27, 2017

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Johannesburg - Police on Friday confirmed the arrest of scores of meter taxi operators following protest action near OR Tambo airport. 

The protests reportedly broke out in the early hours of Friday morning and saw trucks and cars block the R24 road between Barbara and Jones as well as the R21 between Pomona and Voortrekker road.

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Reports emerged of total chaos along the R21 and R24, causing massive traffic delays. 

It's unclear what sparked the protest or who's involved, though there is some speculation that it is linked to the dispute between meter taxis and Uber drivers. 

Some of the carnage this morning #HighwayProtest pic.twitter.com/fggKjIGLuY

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β€” Staffie97 (@staffie97) October 27, 2017

Ekurhuleni metro police spokesperson Inspector Kobeli Mokheseng said police had been at the scene trying to calm the situation down since 3am.

"It's unclear what the protest is over... but we suspect it may have been planned yesterday (Thursday).

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"We've since towed 25 vehicles and arrested 29 suspects... although the numbers may go up during the course of the day."

congratulations Cde @MbalulaFikile for protecting road users from abusers πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ #HighwayProtest #OperationSqueeze #ORtambo #airportblockade pic.twitter.com/8Dd2DfIwfs

β€” Whitthread (@Whitthread) October 27, 2017

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Mokheseng confirmed that two vehicles were also torched during the protest, adding that it was unclear who they belonged to. 

It's since emerged, according to EWN, that one of the vehicles belongs to an Uber driver. 

The arrested operators have since been charged with public violence following the earlier protest, police confirmed.

Mokheseng also confirmed that while the affected routes had since been reopened, traffic was moving at snails pace. 

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