Western Cape government claims videos showing taxi influx into EC are ‘fake news’

Western Cape transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela.
Image: Gallo Images/Jaco Marais

The Western Cape government says only four drivers were arrested and fined for illegally crossing provincial borders over the Easter weekend.

This information, which does not specify the provincial borders, is contained in a report issued by Western Cape transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela on Tuesday afternoon.

In the statement, Madikizela dismissed “fake news videos” and photographs widely shared on social media  showing taxis bringing hundreds of passengers to the Eastern Cape on Friday.

Many taxis were stopped at provincial roadblocks and forced to go back to the Western Cape.

It is understood that some travellers had procured false death certificates.

Lockdown regulations state people may travel between provinces if they need to attend funerals, provided they have the requisite documentation.

On Sunday, Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane said the Eastern Cape had “picked up, particularly on the N1 from Western Cape to the Eastern Cape, a problem of influx of taxis that we are investigating together with the Western Cape”.

He said the Eastern Cape  “might be peripheral to the centre but it is the centre of the periphery”.

“People are leaving their families, leaving everything but at the end of the day they must come back (to the province). The lockdown is not about the Eastern Cape borders. It is about everyone, every border in the country, province per province,” said Mabuyane.

But on Tuesday, Madikizela said law enforcement units in the Western Cape were activated at the N1 tunnel, Paarl, Rawsonville weighbridge in Worcester, Matjiesfontein, Laingsburg and on the R61 Beaufort West.

Even though the report does not specify on which roads transgressions occurred, it stated that 50 drivers were arrested and fined for not having permits, while 11 drivers were arrested and 50 fined for exceeding passenger capacity as per lockdown regulations.

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