Picture: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA
Picture: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

Pretoria -  Protesting taxi operators, who brought the Pretoria CBD to a standstill on Wednesday, have called on President Jacob Zuma to fire his Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi immediately.

National Taxi Alliance (NTA) President Francis Matsitsa told more than a thousand taxi drivers and operators that Maswanganyi was incompetent and disrespectful.

"Today we are telling the whole South Africa that this minister treats us with disdain. This department serves their friends and associates. I am not prepared to be told what to do by him," said Maswanganyi.

"The business of ministers in this department has been to attend dinners where they can be seen on TV. Joe Maswanganyi, as our minister, should be our servant. Instead of being grateful of the privilege to serve his people, Joe Maswanganyi has become very proud."

Matsitsa pledged that Maswanganyi "will reap what he is sowing".

The protesters were yet to march to the Union Buildings, east of Pretoria, where they will hand over another memorandum.

Numerous members of the SAPS public order policing unit were standing guard at the transport department's main entrance, which was closed.

The large crowd of NTA members arrived at the national department of transport before midday.

The protesters, some wielding sjamboks and batons, had used their taxis to block off Bosman Street, adject to the transport department.