South African meter taxi drivers have been embroiled in a bitter battle with drivers from on-demand services such as Uber and Taxify for years and although the clashes have been violent for some time now, the battle took a dark turn as a driver recently died.
Earlier this week, an Uber driver died after succumbing to injuries from being trapped inside his car after it had been set on fire by meter taxi drivers.
As minister of police, Mbalula spoke about the incident on Tuesday, sharing his theories on why things have gotten to this point.
"Largely at the centre of this violence, it is competition. It is about the fact that Uber is too sophisticated..."
But the interesting part came when the minister said
"Uber is accessible at all places. It can fetch you at your house, even if you are a celebrity... and you don't want to be seen that you don't have a car, Uber [has] restored dignity to celebrities and such people because when you are a celebrity and you are on television, you don't want to be on a taxi and you don't want to be dignified and Uber has brought that dignity."
To the delight of the journalists at the breiefing, he then added, "people, you see them jumping out of very expensive cars, thank you to Uber... It has restored the dignity of people practicing their celebrity status without being interrupted"
Watch a clip of Minister Mbalula's speech below:
It seems actress, Samkelo Ndlovu (who is also an Uber partner), shares Mbalula's sentiments about the business to some extent.
Those on the side of meter taxi drivers tried to come for Ndlovu but she wasted no time shutting them down.
Main image credit: ewn.co.za