A taxi carrying 17 passengers crashed on the N2 highway after coming under attack by laaities from Heideveld and Bonteheuwel.
Residents say shortly after 6pm on Wednesday, the boys started hurling stones at each other on the footbridge when the driver was struck and crashed into a ditch on the side of the road.
Sumaya Jacobs of the Heideveld Residents Committee says the ongoing fights between the two groups has residents living in fear as their windows are damaged and children are injured.
“Every night then these two groups fight on this bridge like skollies and attack each other with stones,” says Sumaya.
“On Wednesday, they threw stones at each other and they hit the taxi driver.
“He lost control of the taxi and crashed into a ditch.
“There were so many people injured, it was horrible to see all the people and even a school child was injured.”
Mom Nawaal Joseph, 23, says she has been forced to vacate her bedroom as her windows are smashed each night during the fights.
“All the houses that face the N2 are affected. They threw my windows in and my children were in the room,” she says.
“What if one of them were injured? We can’t even sleep in that room because we are too scared something will happen.”
SAPS spokesperson Wesley Twigg confirms the accident but according to him, the taxi had a tyre burst.
He says police are aware of the stone throwing, however.
“This office can confirm that there are reports of a taxi that had a tyre burst on the N2 highway which resulted in passengers being injured.
“Police are informed of stone throwing incidents involving youth between Bonteheuwel and Heideveld that are being addressed by the local sector commanders.
“According to reports, the injured passengers were taken to nearby hospitals.”
But Sumaya says Twigg has got it wrong.
“It was not a tyre burst, the residents witnessed the crash and confirmed the driver was hit with a stone.”
Bontas Ward Councillor Angus McKenzie says the stone throwing is an ongoing problem and says the parents must take responsibility.
“The children are aged between 10 and 15 years old and the matter has been reported continuously to the police,” he says.
“This is not gangsterism. This is stoute laaities and the parents are to be blamed for failing to discipline their children.”
McKenzie says with limited police resources, the issue is difficult to police.
“Each time, only the Law Enforcement officers from Bonteheuwel respond but while they are there, no stone throwing happens, they cannot stand off there all the time and this is very difficult to police as we don’t have the numbers. This is very serious and almost resulted in the deaths of 17 people.”