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Taxi driver, assistant accused of assault

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“My boyfriend plays soccer and I also wanted to support the event in memory of Rehana Moshoeshoe who went missing more than nine years ago.

Picture: Soraya Crowie

A COMMUTER was hospitalised after she was allegedly assaulted by a taxi driver and a jump boy when they refused to accept a torn R20 note as payment.

The commuter, who is afraid of being identified, said that she was forced to catch a taxi to work every day and now feared for her safety.

The incident took place on Sunday afternoon when she was on her way to attend the 9th Annual Rehana Moshoeshoe Soccer Tournament and an awareness march against women trafficking and women abuse at the AR Abass Stadium.

“My boyfriend plays soccer and I also wanted to support the event in memory of Rehana Moshoeshoe who went missing more than nine years ago.

“I caught a taxi from Phutanang and I sat at the front of the taxi. The taxi fee is R12 and I offered a R20 note as payment. They did not want to accept my money as the note was slightly torn. I asked the taxi driver to transport me to my boyfriend so that I could get money for the trip but they did not want to listen to me.”

She stated that they started assaulting her inside the taxi, where she sustained bruises to both of her arms as well as her back.

“I was manhandled, pushed and shoved against the door of the taxi. My head was also injured and I thought that my index finger was broken after they twisted it .

She added that she felt defenceless against the attackers.

“I couldn’t fight them off or try to fend for myself as it was me against two men. Other commuters also said that they do not feel safe because of what happened to me.”

She indicated that she had lost all her contacts and content that was stored on her cell phone after it was stolen during the scuffle.

”They saw the phone when I climbed into the taxi. They grabbed my cell phone that I kept in my bosom, as I did not have a pocket to put it in.

“The suspects claimed that they gave my phone to one of my neighbours, but neither the taxi driver nor jump boy know where I stay. They also do not know who my neighbours are. My phone has not been returned. I have no insurance or means of replacing it.”

She said another passenger screamed at the suspects to stop assaulting her.

“She offered to pay the R12 taxi fee but they refused to accept any payment on my behalf and said that I was taking their services for granted.”

She was dropped off near the Civic Centre, where she was left in a traumatised state.

“I was crying and in shock. They did not want to take me any further and left me there without any mode of transport. I was unable to phone my boyfriend as they had taken my cell phone.”

She said a good Samaritan, who used to operate a taxi and who had stopped at the robot, saw her and came to her rescue.

“He gave me a lift to the police station where I opened up a case. I was sent for medical treatment. Someone managed to call my boyfriend to inform him that I would be spending the night at the hospital. I was discharged on Monday morning and luckily I had no broken bones.”

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba, yesterday said the Kimberley police are investigating a case of common assault.

“On December 1 at about 4pm a passenger was allegedly assaulted by a taxi driver and his taxi assistant after they became involved in an argument. The passenger was travelling from Phutanang and was dropped off after the alleged assault. No arrests have been made yet and the investigation continues.”