2 Uber vehicles and 1 maxi-taxi set on fire in Sandton after rival taxi drivers clash
Police had to fire stun grenades to clear the streets‚ which were occupied by taxi drivers carrying crude weapons and petrol bombs.
According to SABC, It's reported that a group of 15 metered taxi drivers attacked and petrol bombed the Uber vehicles that were parked outside the Sandton Convention Centre where the Johannesburg Art Festival is being held.
Uber drivers retaliated by burning down one of the metered taxi vehicles forcing the police to be called in to try and control the situation.
According to Johannesburg Metro, Wayne Minaar no injuries was reported and the scene was cordoned off.
Uber has condemned the attack and said it was relieved to hear the driver of the vehicle was not injured.
“We’re aware of the situation‚ at this time we can confirm that one vehicle is registered to use the Uber app. We are busy investigating the second vehicle‚” Uber spokeswoman Samantha Allenberg said.
Uber said that on being notified of this incident‚ its operations‚ security and law enforcement teams immediately alerted the relevant authorities.
“Any situation where driver safety is put at risk is absolutely unacceptable to us. That people are choosing violence and threats against those bringing choice in transportation is completely unacceptable.”
This is not the first time however animosity between the rival taxi drivers has boiled over in South Africa, one of Uber’s biggest markets.
On June 10, an Uber driver was murdered in Pretoria leading to protests which left vehicles destroyed and their windscreen's smashed.
Uber has been engaged in conflict with local taxi drivers in several African countries with many accusing the San Francisco based company of undermining their business and reducing their profits.
The Sandton incident is currently being investigated, and no arrests have been made as yet.
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