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‘Impounding taxis could spark more Mamelodi violence’

The Tshwane metro police seized a number of taxis in the area in the past few days.

FILE: Stranded commuters in Mamelodi as taxi drivers prevented Autopax buses from operating in the area. Picture: Vumani mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Mamelodi Amalgamated Taxi Association has warned authorities that impounding its vehicles could spark further violence.

The Tshwane metro police today seized a number of taxis in the area.

The association's Bonnie Mdjishe said, "They must try to release those cars because they are provoking our members and we will fail to control them. We've tried by all means yesterday to talk to them to please calm down. Maybe there's a third force here."

Meanwhile, Prasa bus service Autopax says 80 percent of its fleet is back on the road in Mamelodi.

Autopax took over Public Utility Transport Corporation's ( Putco) routes in the area after the latter decided to cancel its contract with government for certain routes.

Last week Autopax buses came under attack, allegedly by taxi drivers who demanded they get control of the routes.

Autopax CEO Nathi Khena said, "We are inviting experienced bus drivers at moment because we do not have the time. But if within the taxi industry there is an experienced bus driver, he is at liberty to apply. We will follow our normal screening and recruitment process."

ACT OF HOOLIGANISM

Last week, the City of Tshwane described the attacks on AutoPax buses in Mamelodi as ' acts of hooliganism that borders on anarchy'.

The city met with the transport department and taxi drivers on Wednesday but failed to broker a deal to end the protests sparked by the Putco's decision to cancel its service there.

At least four buses were stoned, allegedly by taxi drivers, and others couldn't drive through the township due to roads being blocked with rubble.

WATCH: Mamelodi bus commuters left stranded

On Friday Putco confirmed that five people were shot and wounded on one of its buses in Mamelodi.

The driver was shot in the stomach before a suspect shot four passengers.