Pretoria – Three Taxify vehicles were torched and destroyed in Sunnyside, Pretoria on Wednesday during an ongoing feud between online taxi operators and metered taxi drivers.
Police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela confirmed that a total of three Taxify vehicles had been set alight during the course of Wednesday, with the last one being torched during the evening.
Two of the vehicles were set alight after the respective drivers were picking up passengers, said Mavimbela.
“The first vehicle was set alight when a driver of the ride-sharing service was called to pick up a passenger,” said Mavimbela said in a statement.
“While waiting inside his vehicle, he was approached by a group of around eight men who threatened him with violence.”
A “flammable substance” was used to set the vehicle alight and it burnt out completely. The driver escaped unharmed.
The second vehicle was set alight later the afternoon, Mavimbela told News24.
“The vehicle was parked outside of a building when seven men approached the driver. The vehicle was also set alight with a flammable substance and partially damaged.” The driver sustained no injuries.
The third Taxify vehicle was set alight during the course of the evening as the driver attempted to pick up passengers.
Three cases of malicious damage to property were opened and a case of assault has been opened by the first taxi driver.
Taxify could not be reached for comment.
News24 understands that dozens of cases of malicious damage to property have been opened by both Uber and meter taxi drivers in recent months after their vehicles have been stoned, petrol bombed, or set alight.
In July the violent feud saw its first murder after an Uber driver died from injuries he sustained during an attack near Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria on June 10. The Uber driver had suffered serious burn wounds.
Previously, Uber and meter taxi drivers, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, spoke to News24, blaming each other for what they called a war.
Both sides argue that the feud emanates over regulations and turf.
Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula have denounced the violence and have said that meetings are underway to try and find a solution to the problem.
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