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Angry commuters pelt at traffic officers

Traffic officers came underfire from travellers in Masiphumelele, Fishhoek on Monday afternoon.

This is after they attempted to clamp long distance buses that were not roadworthy. Some of the buses were supposed to travel as far as Zimbabwe.

When officers tried to clamp the first bus, commuters who had already loaded their belongings in the bus got angry. They started shouting at the officers demanding they leave the buses alone.

Immediately the situation escalated as commuters started throwing everything they could find towards the officers. Officers had to call for backup and SAPS officers rushed to the scene and assist.

Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith the buses were not fit for public transportation. Smith said people bring in unroadworthy vehicles on the road knowing that the public is desperate for transport.

“It’s the time of year where illegal operators use unsafe vehicles and without the required licensing or permits, providing “cheaper” transport options to those wanting to travel long distances,” said Smith.

The officers claimped three foreign registered buses which they found in contravention of the law. “A crowd of agitators gathered, and prevented the officers from enforcing the law, eventually pelting staff with stones,” said Smith.

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Smith said officers used stun grenades to disperse the angry crowd and restore order.
“Unable to restore calm despite several warnings, the unrest continued until stun grenades and rubber bullets was used to dispel the group. Two persons were arrested for public violence, while all three of the busses were towed and impounded,” said Smith.

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