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Several taxi drivers and Osizweni community members descended on the Newcastle Courts on Wednesday morning, 26 October 2022—in protest of the high crime rates and the release of three taxi drivers.
With hordes of community members and taxi drivers congregating outside the Newcastle Courts, law enforcement had no alternative, but to close off parts of Murchison Street. However, the gathering of protestors ensured their message was heard.
The volatile crowd rallied together, demanding the release of the three taxi drivers accused of murdering two criminals earlier this month.
On 19 October 2022, Newcastillian News reported how two men were found murdered on Terminus Street in the Newcastle CBD. The deceased, who had been beaten and stabbed to death, had allegedly robbed a taxi driver in Osizweni, KwaZulu-Natal.
This resulted in the taxi driver reporting the matter to other taxi drivers in Newcastle, who then tracked down the perpetrators. The men were then brought to Newcastle Taxi Rank, and killed.
To read the full story, click here.
The three recently appeared in court, where their bail application was denied. They reappeared in court on Wednesday morning for the continuation of their case.
One of the protesting taxi drivers explained, “While they were denied bail, we feel they deserve to get bail. These men have helped the community with paddas (criminals). They are good men, humble, they are fathers and good members of the society.”
Having worked with the men for approximately 15 years, he added that the accused were truly pillars within society, often going beyond the call of duty to help others.
“If people have any issues, these men will talk to the affected parties and try to have the issue resolved. They will even help commuters with taxi fees, paying out of their own pockets, if the passengers don’t have money,” he said.
In addition, members of Operation Dudula explained that they were in support of the release of the taxi drivers. “They need to be released, as crime is totally out of hand, and these taxi drivers did what we community members are already trying to do and that is fight crime.”
Operation Dudula further felt that despite the ongoing crime in the area, the taxi drivers were being punished after hitting back at criminals preying on innocent community members.
While the crowd demanded the release of the men, the court postponed the case until 2 November 2022.
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