Minister Daylin Mitchell condemns attack on traffic officers following operation on closed Mbekweni route

18 October 2021 | From Arrive Alive


Seven taxis were impounded during a joint operation on the closed Paarl/Mbekweni Route B97, and three taxi operators have been arrested. 
 
This follows a Provincial Traffic Law Enforcement and the South African Police Service joint plan to deal with possible incidents of illegal operations in this area.
 
During the impoundment, some taxi operators blocked the road in an attempt to stop the operation.  A taxi then drove straight towards a traffic officer with the intention of knocking him over. The officer fired shots at the wheels of the taxi, forcing it to stop.  The taxi driver was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
 
Two other operators were also arrested.  One was charged with assault of a traffic officer and another was charged with interfering with the execution of a law enforcement officer while exercising his duty.
 
While there has subsequently been relative calm between the two taxi associations that are contesting the route, processes and joint operations have been put in place by an inter-governmental group led by the SAPS and my Department to ensure that the agreement signed by the parties is monitored and that the closure is strictly enforced. 
 
In the meantime, CATA and Codeta affiliated parties have been participating in a formal Arbitration process to determine who has rights to operate on Route B97 and other contentious routes in the area. 
 
This process is nearing completion, with the last hearing having been conducted on Friday 8 October and the Arbitrator now preparing her findings and recommendations for publishing in early November.
 
We will not tolerate illegal operations on this closed route. Nor will we tolerate attacks on our officers, who are doing their jobs in enforcing this closure. The law will be upheld, and those who break it will be held accountable.
 

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