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Driver assaulted in taxi turf war

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The driver was pulled out of his “town/mall” route vehicle, while dropping off passengers, by “kasi/mall” and then taxi drivers assaulted.

ASSAULT: A taxi turf war has broken out between minibus taxi drivers and private vehicle taxi drivers following arguments about pick-up and drop-off points in front of the North Cape Mall, leaving one taxi driver with a broken arm and leg. Picture: Soraya Crowie

A “TAXI turf war” has flared up in Kimberley, with one taxi driver ending up in the hospital on the weekend after being assaulted at the North Cape Mall.

CBD Taxi Association spokesperson Wandie Geco said that a “taxi turf war” had broken out between minibus taxi drivers and private vehicle taxi drivers, following arguments about pick-up and drop-off points.

This led to the assault of a private vehicle taxi driver, who ended up with a broken arm and leg on Friday.

Geco said the driver was pulled out of his “town/mall” route vehicle, while dropping off passengers, by “kasi/mall” and then taxi drivers assaulted him.

“The problem started earlier during the day at Bultfontein Taxi Rank. A kasi/mall taxi picked up passengers in the CBD, something it is not allowed to do. The driver of a private vehicle taxi, belonging to the CBD Taxi Association, told them that it was not allowed. The kasi/mall driver then found the private vehicle taxi driver at North Cape Mall, where he was pulled from his vehicle and assaulted. He sustained several broken bones and was taken to hospital,” Geco said.

He added that private vehicle taxis had been operating in Kimberley for the last five years and called on the Department of Safety, Transport and Liaison to intervene in the situation and speed up the issuing of taxi permits, in order to prevent further bloodshed in a looming “full-blown Kimberley taxi war”.