Molepolole taxi drivers protest steep fines
Disgruntled Molepolole taxi drivers set aside their duty on Tuesday and convened at the Molepolole Police station gate in protest of the arrest of more than forty drivers who were fined P500 each.
It was a common occurrence for taxi drivers to make a loud noise with their hooters as a call for passengers by the roadside oblivious that they were breaking the law.
Offending taxi drivers were however nabbed by plainclothes cops in a sting operation, which involved cops posing as potential passengers, which resulted in taxi drivers calling them with the sound of a hooter.
The police officers would then reveal their identity and instruct the taxi drivers to follow them to the police station to be charged.
One of the charged taxi drivers, Tiro Kelepile said, “I had two passengers in my car.
I found two passengers on the way, a man and a woman, I hooted to find out if they wanted a ride and they flagged me down.
The woman got inside the car and the man showed me his police identity badge and told me to drive to police station while he moved on to his next target, a taxi that was behind mine.”
Kelepile further told of how at the police station the officers confiscated his car keys and licences and told him that should he fail to pay the P500 spot fine, he would have to get his car back next week Tuesday, allegedly after an inspection.
Taxi drivers however moved swiftly to organize a protest against the unprecedented arrest of their colleagues, bringing public transport system in Molepolole to a halt for a couple of hours.
Angry drivers stopped every taxi, which they found on the road and forced drivers to join the demonstration against what they described as police harassment.
Commenting on the matter, Molepolole Police Assistant Commissioner, Boikhutso Dintwe confirmed that they did run a sting operation in which forty taxi drivers were caught on the wrong side of the traffic law and fined P 500 each.
“The law says passengers should not be solicited by hooters, business people should not pollute the environment by shouting and ringing of bells. We have embarked on zero tolerance of law breaking and no offence is too small,” Dintwe said.
The police boss cautioned public transport operators that hooters should not be used to call passengers otherwise they should be prepared to pay a fine.
The gathered taxi drivers eventually paid their fines and went back to work.