Tensions are simmering in Jeffreys Bay’s taxi industry with a number of violent incidents over the past two weeks.
Rival taxi associations are fighting among one another for the right to operate along the local taxi route, with one group saying it belongs to them.
During a violent altercation between su-spected rival taxi associations, a taxi driver was attacked and the tyres of a taxi slashed on Monday afternoon. The incident – which is not the first – occurred near the Ocean View traffic circle situated on the road between Jeffreys Bay and Aston Bay.
This follows a fight in the parking lot of the Tokyo Sexwale Stadium, which is located near the Ocean View traffic circle, on July 26 between the same rivals.
According to witnesses on the scene, one taxi association began to load passengers, which led to another taxi association storming down towards the car park, and a fight broke out.
At least two men were injured during the fight. One had a possible knife wound. No guns were used during the incident.
According to Kouga Municipal spokesperson, Laura-Leigh Randall, to protect the lives and property of innocent taxi commuters whose only desire is to reach their workplace or other destination, municipal manager Sidney Fadi closed all the taxi ranks to ensure law and order is maintained. “The taxi association did not want to resolve the situation, but kept on prolonging the strife,” says Randall.
“The municipality has the responsibility to maintain law and order, including the impounding of private taxis which operate without a licence. In this case when we heard that our communities were affected, we facilitated a peaceful solution together with the SAPS Jeffreys Bay Station Commander and Detective Branch.”
According to W.O. Basil Seekoei, the Jeffreys Bay Detectives are investigating cases of common assault, malicious damage to property and the pointing of a firearm.
“A suspect in his late thirties was arrested on charges of assault and malicious damage to property,” says Seekoei