Pretoria - The tension between e-hailing cab operators and metered taxi drivers has resulted in another death in the city.
A Taxify operator stabbed two metered taxi drivers on Friday, killing one and wounding another, at the Bosman Station.
The driver then rushed to Pretoria Central police station to open a case of attempted hijack and robbery. He claimed the attack was in self-defence.
The incident happened a few days after four metered taxi drivers appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court for allegedly kidnapping an e-hailing service driver.
The men allegedly jumped into a Taxify cab and robbed the driver of his money at the same station. The four drivers are due in court tomorrow.
Regarding Friday's incident, police spokesperson Captain Augustina Selepe said it was alleged that the driver was ambushed by metered taxi operators who forcefully jumped into his cab and pepper-sprayed him.
She said the driver allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed them.
Taxify, Uber, and new kid on the block Umashesha operators demonstrated outside the court yesterday, where the driver was appearing. They claimed he was merely protecting himself when he stabbed the drivers.
A Taxify driver said: “We are not safe in Pretoria as e-hailing operators because we are targeted. My friend called me immediately after managing to drive away with his life.
“He jumped out of his cab after he fought back. We only found that one of them died at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, when we were at the police station opening an attempted hijacking case.
“Metered taxi drivers came to the police station and started making a noise and I asked the police to lock my friend in a cell for protection.”
Gauteng Metered Taxi Council general secretary Hendrick Ndou said the e-hailing service drivers were not telling the truth.
He said they were in fact aggressive towards metered taxi drivers because they knew that most of them did not have permits to operate.
He alleged that the driver attacked metered taxi drivers who had confronted him and tried to check his permit. After the alleged attack, he rushed to the police, Ndou claimed.
“We would like to see this driver prosecuted for murder and attempted murder.
“Right now I cannot say if the tension between these drivers starts or ends because I do not know what either these drivers will do from now,” said Ndou.
“What is said about these drivers is also not true.
“They confronted a Taxify driver and found out he did not have a permit to operate.
“He was taken to other metered taxi drivers, where he voluntarily agreed to pay a fine. He then came back with the police to identify the four metered taxi drivers and said they robbed him.”
Chairperson of Tshwane Uber and Taxify operators Chris Rabohali said: “The truth is that we are being targeted and attacked by metered taxi drivers. Government, our employers and the police have failed us."