PRETORIA Central police said they were confident of ending the tension between e-hailing cab operators and metered taxi drivers. The police arrested four metered taxi drivers for allegedly kidnapping and robbing a Taxify driver on Sunday.
Police spokesperson Captain Augustina Selepe said the metered taxi drivers were arrested at the Bosman Station after being positively identified by the victim.
Justice Magagane, 52, Vincent Mafhalane, 41, France Ntsane, 55, and McDonald Mapulana, 24, appeared at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday to face charges of kidnapping and robbery.
Selepe said the accused allegedly stopped the victim’s cab on Sunday during the day, while he was going to collect a client in the CBD, and forced their way into his car.
The victim told police that he was held against his will. The suspects told him he would not be allowed to leave until he paid money to them.
“The amount of money he gave the suspects cannot be revealed at this stage as it is part of the investigation.
“However, this incident will prove that when the police are given information, we investigate and make arrests.
“We are confident that this arrest will be an example to others to show that we are determined to end this crime between the e-hailing operators and metered taxi drivers,” said Selepe.
The court ordered that the suspects be remanded in custody until they made a formal bail application.
They will appear in court on again on Wednesday.
The conflict between these taxi drivers has been a cause for concern for the public, the police and the drivers themselves for years.
In March, numerous demonstrations erupted after a Tshwane University of Technology student Siyabonga Ngcobo was kidnapped and burnt to death in Sunnyside. He was a Taxify driver.
Metered taxi drivers were accused of killing him by Uber and Taxify drivers.
They took to the streets demanding justice for the late driver and student.
TUT students and #NotInMyName South Africa joined forces with the drivers to call on the police to make arrests.
#NotInMyName South Africa secretary-general, Themba Masango, said the organisation welcomed the latest arrest.
He said they had been calling for arrests for a while and would follow the case closely.
“We are speaking with the investigating officers in the Ngcobo murder case to see if the police could bring in witnesses and put these suspects in an identity parade, to see if they were involved in the incident that led to his gruesome murder.”