The South African Police Service (SAPS) is on high alert in Gqeberha after a confrontation between a taxi driver and Somalian businessman ended in shops, taxis and cars being set alight.
According to police spokesperson colonel Priscilla Naidu, a taxi and an Audi were involved in an accident in Durban Road in Korsten on Wednesday afternoon and a confrontation ensued.
“It is alleged that at about 14:00 this afternoon, 13/10, a collision between the abovementioned vehicles took place. It is further alleged that the driver of the taxi alighted and started to assault the driver of the Audi,” said Naidu.
“Businessmen in the area immediately came to the assistance of the Audi driver. The Audi driver got into his vehicle and drove further up the road where his vehicle stalled. A group of taxi drivers attacked him and set his vehicle alight.”
A retaliation between the businessmen and taxi drivers ensued, resulting in a total of eight taxis being set alight, two taxis damaged and a civilian vehicle also set alight.
“All the taxis were stationary at the rank. No one sustained any injuries,” said Naidu.
The situation is still tense and police are on high alert and will remain in the area monitoring the situation.
Police have opened a case of public violence. No arrests have been made yet.
Gqeberha and Somalians have been trending on social media as some condemned the violence, while others voiced their concerns over how the violence could affect the wider community.