By Kefiloe Kajane
There was total chaos and pandemonium on the South Africa side of Maseru Bridge on Monday morning as criminal elements of the SA taxi industry hell-bent on becoming the law unto themselves attempted to commandeer Lesotho leaners travelling to schools at Ladybrand.
Scholar transport involves transportation of learners to school and back home, and is regarded in law as a form of public transport for which an operating license is applicable.
However, members of the Manyatseng Taxi Association, notorious for harassing Lesotho motorists at will, sometimes right under the noses of South African police officers, demanded that the taxis tasked with ferrying Basotho learners daily drop the students at the entry pointso they could be transported to school by Ladybrand taxis.
The cantankerous and uncouth taxis operators claimed this was their way of making money during Covid-19.
The haples students had no choice but to go back home, as school bus owners declined to hand them over, insisting they are entrusted and permitted by parents and the law to transport the children.
They emphasized it would be irresponsible of them to hand over the students of the SA taxis, in the process exposing them to Covid-19 and vices like human trafficking.
For his part, Lesotho’s principal secretary for the ministry of transport, Thabo Motoko, pointed out that the issue is beyond taxi associations, adding they will request their South Africa counterparts to sort it out as it now borders on criminality.