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Dozens arrested for public violence in suspected metered taxi strike

Dozens of suspects have been arrested and will appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court for public violence during a suspected metered taxi strike on Friday morning, local police said.

Two Uber vehicles were torched.

Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department spokesperson Kobeli Mokheseng said that at around 3am, traffic was affected when stationary abandoned vehicles blockaded the freeway.

Traffic came to a standstill on the R21 between the Pomona and Voortrekker off-ramp and the R24 between the Barbara and Jones off-ramp.

“We are not sure if it is Uber or metered taxis that are causing this havoc. Working together with the police and Gauteng Traffic, we have impounded 25 vehicles that were causing obstruction.”

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said more 30 people had been arrested. He said he could not confirm an exact number as people were still being processed. Mokheseng said the number of arrests could be significantly higher.

Abandoned trucks
Mokheseng said the road has been reopened and tow trucks had been arranged to remove trucks blocking the road.

“Truck drivers ran for safety and abandoned their trucks in the middle of the freeway when they saw the strike. We have arrested 29 suspects for public violence,” he said.

“There is a Nissan Almera that was burnt on Electron Road and we are not sure whether it is arson or [if] it was a mechanical fault. But it appears to be belonging to the metered taxi drivers or Uber.”

Later, a second Uber vehicle was torched.

Uber spokesperson Samantha Allenberg confirmed that Uber drivers did not participate in the strike.

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