- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: Police arrest protesting minibus drivers in Soweto
- Date: 16th March 2010
- Summary: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (MARCH 15, 2010) (REUTERS) BUS DRIVING OFF PEOPLE QUEUING AT NEW BUS STATION PEOPLE STAMPING TICKETS TAXI OPERATORS AND DRIVERS PROTESTING BURNT REMAINS OF CAR PEOPLE PROTESTING MAN HOLDING PLACARD PLACARD READING: (Zulu)'WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO THE GOVERNMENT?' POLICEMAN GRIPPING GUN IN HOLSTER POLICEMAN ORDERING PEOPLE TO LEAVE POLICEMAN CHASING PROTESTERS/POLICE SHOOTING AT PROTESTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (MEC), SAFETY AND SECURITY, GAUTENG PROVINCE, KGABISI MOSUNKUTU, SAYING "They have a right to protest, I repeat. They have no right to behave in an unlawful, disorderly manner, anywhere, anytime in our country." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS BEING ARRESTED AND PUT INTO BACK OF POLICE TRUCK PEOPLE QUEUING AT BUS STATION POLICE WITH GUNS PATROLLING OUTSIDE BUS STATION
- Embargoed: 31st March 2010 13:00
- Location: South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA6M1SO0S4FZ68PTQNF8MBL81BB
- Story Text: Private mini-bus transport operators barricaded roads in Soweto and halted their transport services on Monday (March 15) in protest against a new transport system in Johannesburg launched ahead of the World Cup.
The operators were angry over the public Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system introduced, saying they were not consulted when the government had plans for the introduction of the city's first public bus network. The operators fear losing their monopoly and have organised multiple strikes, some of which have turned violent.
Police were brought in to protect commuters and bus drivers. Commuters were left stranded and those who tried to use the buses were threatened with violence by the protesters.
Ten mini-bus operators were arrested for public violence as tension mounted. South Africa Press Agency (SAPA) reported that a BRT bus was shot at on Saturday (March 13) in a drive-by shooting The new bus system would give poor commuters an option to choose a cheaper and safer mode of transport than the accident prone taxis from Soweto to the Johannesburg Central Business District.
The government has developed the new system as part of its World Cup preparations when hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors are expected for the tournament.
The World Cup will run from June 11 to July 11.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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