Violent taxi-related protest in Fisantekraal

Protesters burning tyres.

Police deployed to Fisantekraal to disperse rioters during Monday’s citywide taxi strike.

SAPS, City law enforcement and traffic officers closed off the area as taxi drivers smashed windscreens of both police and private vehicles as well as the windows of the Fisantekraal satellite police station.

Durbanville police spokesman Captain Marchelle Rhode said public order police had to be brought in to quell the violence.

Greenville Neighbourhood Watch chairwoman Elizabeth Maans said the group had started breaking windows and toyi-toying early in the morning and at one stage she had been too scared to leave her home.

Ward 105 councillor Ruan Beneke said the strike had started at about 5am, a time most commuters would usually start using public transport to get to work.

The taxi drivers blocked off roads at Klipheuwel, Fisantekraal and Joostenberg in Durbanville.

“Fisantekraal was the biggest gathering and also the most aggressive in the Durbanville area,” he said.

The drivers burnt tyres on the corner of Klipheuwel and Litchenburg roads and Boys Briers Drive and Lichtenburg Road.

Mr Beneke said a motorist had been hospitalised with serious injuries after his vehicle was stoned coming from the Boys Briers Drive into Fisantekraal.

Children in the area had also been drawn into the conflict with as many as 400 of them throwing rubble and vegetation on the fires and stones at the police, said Mr Beneke.

“We will never be able to build better communities of good family values, if discipline is not adhered to,” he said.

The strike was called off later that day, following a meeting between Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant and taxi owners.

The taxi owners said they were unhappy over delayed leadership elections and the impounding of taxis.