JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Three minibus taxi drivers have been arrested for assaulting a Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officer in the city centre during a confrontation over road blockages, the JMPD said on Saturday.
“On Thursday afternoon, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department undercover officers were patrolling along Delvers Street and Albertina Sisulu Road in the Johannesburg CBD. Officers noticed that traffic was queuing and decided to investigate what was causing the traffic jam,” JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said in a statement.
As they inspected the traffic, the officers realised that nine minibus taxis were parked in the middle of the road causing an obstruction.
“Officers approached the taxi operators and requested the drivers to move their vehicles to allow traffic to flow. Taxi drivers became extremely aggressive, swearing and threatening to shoot the officers,” said Fihla.
“While officers were trying to resolve the problem, three taxi drivers started to assault one of the officers, kicking, beating him and tearing his shirt in the process, even trying to disarm him of his service firearm. Officers requested back up from other JMPD units since the taxi drivers had called their friends to join in the attack.”
Fihla said the JMPD officers managed to arrest three “main suspects” for assaulting a law enforcement officer and they were detained at the Johannesburg Central South African Police Service (SAPS) police station. The nine minibus taxis obstructing traffic were impounded.