One suspect arrested after Sandton Uber attack
One suspect, believed to be a metered taxi driver who was part of yesterday’s attack on an Uber driver near the Sandton Gautrain station, was arrested by Johannesburg Metro Police.
Chaos ensued at the busy West Street and Rivonia Road intersection after metered taxi drivers allegedly began attacking Uber drivers as they were driving on West Street.
One Uber driver was injured when his car was stoned and he was dragged out of it by the angry group.
Police arrived quickly on the scene and fired two warning shots. Two officers and the Uber driver sustained injuries.
Gauteng Department of Community Safety spokesperson, Thapelo Moiloa, told htxt.africa that police arrested the suspect shortly after the incident.
Moiloa said the suspect had been fighting with police while they were trying to restore calm and simmer tensions among some metered taxi drivers who remained behind after some of their colleagues fled the scene.
“We want to make it categorically clear that law enforcement is non-negotiable,” Moiloa added.
“When we arrived at the scene, the Uber taxis had left the scene and the metered taxi drivers began throwing stones at law enforcement agencies. That was seen as an attack on the state because we can’t just sit around while any law enforcement agency is responded to violently by these people.”
According to Moiloa the warning shots fired by police were to scare the drivers and not to harm anyone.
“We’re appealing to these guys [metered taxi drivers] to come to the table because for quite a while we’ve been trying to resolve the matter [over the licencing of Uber as public operators] but they keep saying they don’t want Uber operating in the area,” he said.
“This behaviour is uncalled for. They cannot dictate to the Gauteng city region as to who must operate where and how,” he concluded.
Last week metered taxi drivers disrupted the Gauteng province’s official launch of the licensing and permit process being opened to Uber drivers, when they attacked MEC for transport, Ismali Vadi and the company’s drivers.