Gender Based Violence – in a taxi

Gender based violence has hogged the headlines in 2020, but despite a groundswell of support to tackle the issue it remains the scourge of South Africa. The United Nations 16 Days of Activism runs until Human Rights Day on December 10.

By Asavela Mbali

Every day we hear about taxi driver violence on each other, but what happens if they assault a passenger?

Here is one woman’s story, who was assaulted by a taxi driver after an argument over her fare. 

On the morning of 17 November, Sanelisiwe Malgas took an Avanza taxi from Southernwood to High Gate where she stays. Before she entered the car Sanelisiwe told the driver she had R100 she does not have small change. The driver told her its ok she can come in. 

“When the car was approaching Cambridge Primary school the driver asked me where I am going, I replied saying I am going to High Gate, but then he already gave me my change, he gave me R86,” said Sanelisiwe.  The taxi driver argued saying she had to pay R20, but Sanelisiwe told him it cannot be the same as the price of going to Mdantsane. 

“Every day I take a taxi to town paying R15 how can I pay you R20 as if I am going to Mdantsane?” said Sanelisiwe. 

That is when the taxi driver got mad and told her to give him R2 so that he can give her R1, because her original change should have been R85 and he gave her R1 too much.

When they approached the junction where Sanelisiwe told the taxi driver she was getting off, he drove past and ignored her, stopping at the following stop. When Sanelisiwe was getting out of the car, the car was still moving so she had to slam the door to make sure it closed. The angry driver stopped the car and got out, demanding to know she had slammed his car door. 

“I told him the car was moving and I couldn’t close the door properly. He then punched me on my left arm side. I tried to fight back but I couldn’t” said Sanelisiwe. She tried to take the registration number, but she couldn’t she was shaking too hard.

Sanelisiwe went to open a case at Cambridge police station but she was told to first go to the hospital because she was bruised. She went to EMpilweni Hospital and they gave her a doctor’s letter that she took it back to the police station. 

“Before I arrived at the police station Detective Madlingozi, who was handling my case, called and told me he is hand over my case to someone else, but they have not arrived yet,” said Sanelisiwe. The police tried to find the registration of the car, but they couldn’t because the picture she took was not clear enough.

“On Wednesday I woke and went to NU6 in Mdantsane at taxi rank and I spoke with the rank manager told him everything. He did not want to help, but luckily a person listening told me who the taxi driver was, his name being Maza,” she said.

Apparently, Maza had arrived at the taxi rank and told them he had an argument with a lady, but he did not mention that he assaulted her. The guy then gave Sanelisiwe the registration number JJM 841 EC of Maza’s Avanza so that she would be able to trace him.

“The police told me I will receive an SMS with my case number, but I have not received it even now. At the taxi rank they are helping me to trace down Maza, they told me that Maza’s car is being used by someone else now,” said Sanelisiwe.

“Sanelisiwe needs to go back to the station to open the case again and if she does not get enough clarity about her case, she must ask for station commander,” said police spokesperson Lwando Zenzike.

Video below

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