Taxi rank assault 'takes SA backwards'

2012-01-04 22:04
Johannesburg - The behaviour of the men who reportedly groped and harassed two teenagers at the Noord Taxi Rank in Johannesburg threatens to take the country backwards, Minister of Transport Sbu Ndebele said on Wednesday.

"We have come a long way as a nation to build a non-racial, non-sexist democratic society where people have freedom of choice," Ndebele said in a statement.

Ndebele said taxi ranks were public spaces that were supposed to offer transport and other related services to all, without discrimination.

"There's no room for such barbaric acts in our country... We urge the leadership of the taxi industry to act against the alleged perpetrators as they seek to reverse the gains made to restore the confidence of the people in the industry."

The Sowetan newspaper earlier this week reported on a 17-minute clip of CCTV footage it said showed a crowd of men following and groping the girls last Friday.

In the video footage, a mini-skirted young woman can be seen screaming at her tormentors and occasionally trying to punch them after they groped her. Johannesburg metro police came to the rescue of both girls.

No case has been opened. Johannesburg central police were in possession of the CCTV footage, Warrant Officer Xoli Mbele said.

"One girl's brother told us yesterday that they are not around, but the moment they are back they will come forward," said Mbele.

"We have the footage with us, we are looking into the matter. As soon as they come forward our investigations will begin."

Ndebele joins Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane, the ANC Women's League, the department for women, children and people with disabilities, and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA in condemning the attack.

Four years ago another woman, Nwabisa Ngcukana, was stripped and sexually molested at the same taxi rank for wearing a miniskirt.

Read more on:    sibusiso ndebele  |  johannesburg  |  gender equality  |  human rights

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