Cape Town – A crash in Korsten, Gqeberha, led to a taxi driver assaulting the driver of an Audi, subsequently triggering violence in which the Audi, eight minibus taxis and another car were set alight.
Police were on high alert after the drama unfolded at around 2pm yesterday in Durban Road when gunshots were allegedly also fired and shops set alight, with pedestrians, shoppers and motorists fleeing in fear.
A strong police contingent is still monitoring the area after three shops of foreign nationals were torched last night.
Police spokesperson Priscilla Naidu said after the taxi driver began assaulting the motorist, believed to be a Somalian, ’’the Audi driver got into his vehicle and drove further up the road, where his vehicle stalled. A group of taxi drivers attacked him and set his vehicle alight.’’
In retaliation, eight taxis parked at the Korsten taxi rank were torched, two others damaged and a private vehicle set alight.
Naidu said no one sustained any serious injury and no arrests were made. Police have opened a case of public violence.
The situation remained tense into the evening “and police are on high alert and will remain in the area monitoring the situation”, Naidu said.
Explaining to Herald Live what had happened after the taxi and Audi crashed, a witness, who did not want to be named, said: “They started arguing. There was a shootout.
’’People started to set the Somali shops in Durban Road alight and in turn they started burning the taxis.”
At around 4.30pm yesterday, all flames had been extinguished, with police patrolling the area next to the Mercantile hospital.
A foreign national at the scene told Netwerk24 that businessmen in the area and taxi drivers, who are opposed to their presence, are often involved in spats.