Cops face off with Tshwane taxi drivers on a clean up campaign to rid the city of drugs in Sunnyside to protest as they allege it is the drug den of the City. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - After witnessing clashes between taxi drivers and businesses allegedly selling drugs in Tshwane for most of the week, an uneasy calm has been restored in the city centre with the portfolio committee for police urging for police to be left to deal with the issue. 

The Portfolio Committee on Police has joined other stakeholders calling for taxi drivers to let the police be left to deal with removing drugs in the city.

And while police managed to disperse the protest by drivers that erupted in Sunnyside, an uneasy calm returned with only a few small businesses daring to reopen.

Taxi drivers who moved from Brown Street in the city centre brought their warning to flats suspected to be housing drug distributors in Sunnyside which they said was the hub of drugs in Tshwane.

Police Portfolio Chairperson, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, has also moved to denounce the actions of taxi drivers due to visuals of them allegedly taking the law into their hands in the fight against drugs.

Joemat-Pettersson said these actions resulted in chaotic scenes in the CBD that ended up with breaking in of the shops and looting of goods, among other crimes.  

And she said while the committee was in support of the fight against crime in general and the fight against drugs in particular, it cautioned against civilians taking the law into their hands.

“Only the police are well equipped to fight against crime and are authorised by the Constitution and relevant legislation to be at the forefront in the fight against crime.”

“The police are trained and their raids are planned to ensure prosecution. The taxi drivers must assist the police with information that can be used to track, confiscate and make arrests that will ensure that acts of criminality are rooted out. The committee is against the use of mob justice.” 

It was, for this reason, she said they were calling on the police to set up stakeholder forums with taxi drivers and the community in general in order to map out the ways to ensure the perpetrators of crime can be brought to book.

This way Joemat-Pettersson said they would be able to share information and maximise co-operation.

Sheila-Lynn Senkubuge, MMC for Roads and Transport, on Wednesday called taxi drivers actions: “Good intentions coupled with a bad modus operandi” 

Pretoria News