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By Dimakatso Modipa

Some of the illegal concoction of liquor found at the MTN taxi rank by taxi association in Johannesburg
Some of the illegal concoction of liquor found at the MTN taxi rank by taxi association in Johannesburg

Taxi drivers affiliated to the Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA) and the Alexandra-Randburg- Midrand- Sandton Taxi Association (ARMSTA) swooped on unsuspecting delinquents who are involved in criminal activities at two Johannesburg taxi ranks on Monday morning, 15 April.

The operation is called “Taxi Rank Operation Clean-Up. This operation taxi association will be cleaning up taxi ranks and making sure commuters are safe.

According to the chairperson of the Alexandra Taxi Association Jabulani Ntshangase, the two associations noticed that there was general lawless behaviour at these taxi ranks which made life miserable for taxi commuters.

“We then decided to go to the MTN taxi rank in Noord Street to get rid of criminal activities there,” Jabulani Ntshangase said.

Ntshangase told Tshwane Talks that besides their own observations of criminal activities at these ranks, the two associations had also received complaints from commuters.

“Taxi commuters complained about incidents whereby their bags would be snatched from them and also of incidents of being robbed of their money,” he said.

He said the aim of their anti-crime operation is to bring about law and order at the said taxi ranks.

“We are tired of criminals activities that are happening at the taxi ranks because it is ruining our good name as taxi association and now all of this will come to an end as we are here to clean up,” Ntshangase said.

Ntshangase said they were later joined by various law-enforcement agencies in their operation, including cops from Hillbrow and John Vorster police stations and the Johannesburg Metro Police.

“During the operation at the MTN taxi rank, we found many illegal items being sold, including a concoction of liquor sold by a Nigerian man,” he said.

“The liquor concoction sold by the Nigerian chap is so lethal to the extent that some of our taxi drivers who consume it end up crashing into other taxis, hopelessly drunk,” he said.

He said the Nigerian man was badly beaten up by angry taxi drivers before the police could arrive at the scene.

“We also found illegal cigarettes, drugs and cannabis and these were confiscated by the police,” he said.

He said Monday’s operation was only a start as they were in the process of organising a bigger anti- crime operation at more taxi ranks in Johannesburg.

He further said from the MTN taxi rank in Noord Street they drove to Pan Africa taxi rank in Alexandra but found that the delinquents there had closed their stalls and ran away after apparently been tipped off that the crime-fighting taxi drivers were on their way to sort them out.

He said the crime-fighting operation, code-named “Taxi Rank Operation Clean-Up,” started at around 5.30 am and this is an ongoing operation, and we will be traveling from different ranks making sure that there is law and order in the taxi ranks.

“We want our commuters to feel safe because they are our butter and bread and without them as taxi operators, we are nothing,” Ntshangase concluded.

“I’m so happy to see taxi association working hard and making sure we are safe as commuter and I wish they can do this every day,” said commuter Franscinah Mkhize.

Another commuter Nhlanhla Mazibuko said commuters are being robbed here day light while people are watching, and no one is helping or doing nothing.

People here are minding their own business.

“I’m happy with the new operation the taxi association has started, and we want to walk freely in the taxi rank without fear and I support the good initiative,” said Mazibuko.

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