Several buildings were torched in Rustenburg on January 10, as taxi operators and community members 'raid' drug dens and brothels. Picture: Facebook

Rustenburg - Three buildings were torched in central Rustenburg in the North West, on Wednesday, in the renewed bid by taxi operators to smoke out drug dealers.

A notorious tavern opposite the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court and other two buildings were set alight, this spilled over to Rustenburg East End were several building believed to be occupied by foreign nationals were set alight.

North West police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone confirmed that a building was torched but, have no details at the moment.

A taxi operator who spoke to African News Agency (ANA), anonymously said the situation would continue until Police Minister Fikile Mbalula goes to Rustenburg.

"They [taxi operators] want Mbalula to address them, they are tired of proliferation of brothels, drugs and other social ills," he said.

On Monday, taxi operators from Meriting and Boitekong  Taxi Association (Bamta) shut down the town and interrupted afternoon traffic rush.

They refused to transport people and blocked the road, this was after two of them were arrested for beating up nyaope addicts accused of killing a taxi driver in Boitekong.

Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said the two drivers were later released after they were not linked to the incident, where a police vehicle was damaged.

A police vehicle was stoned when the the police intervened to rescue boys from taxi operators.

In November last year, residents in East End set alight several house they suspect were drug dens and brothels, this was after a teenage girl went missing and was suspected to have been kidnapped by foreign nationals allegedly running brothels in the rented houses. 

An awareness march led by Rustenburg mayor Mpho Khunou was staged in East End to raise awareness about human trafficking and drug trafficking.

At least six marches had been staged in Rustenburg to protest against drugs and prostitution in the platinum rich city. 

African News Agency/ANA