TAXI DRIVERS MAINTAIN SAFETY AT THE RANK
By: Mhleli Mkhize
Taxi drivers of uMlazi M&R sections have taken matters into their own hands following a decision that was taken at a meeting last week on ways to protect their passengers at the rank.
Commuters at the rank between Pine Street and Emmanuel Cathedral called F.N.G, have fallen victims to mugging and being robbed of their valuables, a situation that has led to taxi drivers resorting to brutally beaten beating these homeless people known for who making a living out of stealing , begging and picking from the rubbish-bins.
Last Friday night four girls who intended to take a taxi to their respective homes were allegedly mugged and raped by these “feranjas”.
On the same day as this happened a taxi rank manager was then robbed of his clothes and wallet in the toilets at night. They Suspects were reported stealing then stole a radio set on from one of the taxi driver’s car.
Maphiwane Zondo, a taxi-driver, was infuriated by these people. He said, “Everyone knows how these people are,” said Maphiwane Zondo, one of the taxi drivers, angrily.. “They are just a chaotic bunch of people who just want sympathy where-as they should start by cleaning themselves up. Maybe from there they can start making a better living for themselves”.”
Rank Manager Nonkanyiso Nhlangulela (33) said that she now feels threatened by them. She said, “I am a female working in a dangerous environment. For as long as I can make a living for my kids and put bread and butter on the table, I am satisfied,.” said Nhlangulela.
She added that said she also has “lost faith in the police because they take no action to solve the problems caused by this these people. “I was robbed in the toilets and had it not been for the taxi drivers I would have been raped or killed,” stated Nhlangulela. .
Thandeka Gumede, a taxi-commuter at this rank said, “We do not feel safe even in the police stations because the very same cops we try to report to approach us for sex. I am even afraid of going to work at times that I even decide to come late when there are many people outside.”
Constable Shabane, stationed at the Commercial Street Police Station just few meters away from the rank said, warned the media who against swallowing anything without that they and run a risk of reporting lies.
He said, “We have never stopped working to ensure that people are safe, of course nothing is achieved in a short space of time but it will be dealt with in the right time,.” ensured Shabane.