Uber denies neglecting acid attack driver

2017-08-23 18:58
Jonathan Ayache, general manager for Uber SA with general manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

Jonathan Ayache, general manager for Uber SA with general manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

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Johannesburg – Uber on Wednesday denied claims that it neglected one of its drivers after he had acid thrown into his face.

“We have provided him and his family with a gesture of goodwill," said Uber’s general manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits.

He told reporters in Johannesburg that the ride-hailing service company provided Kgomotso Tiro and his family with access to rides so that it’s easier to move around to visit him, to get him to treatment and to get him to trauma counseling.

Tiro’s alleged attacker was arrested and would appear in court on Thursday.

Read: Acid thrown on Uber driver's face

Tiro sustained acid burns on his face, neck, and hands when he went to fetch a customer on August 7. The man had called for an Uber ride from Sophiatown to Northcliff, Johannesburg, and threw acid at him.

Tiro blamed Uber for the attack and said the company had not helped him. Lits said they had tried to speak to him to find out his reasons for saying this.

Violent clashes

There have been violent turf clashes between Uber drivers and metered-taxi drivers, who accused Uber of unfair competition.

Although Lits directed questions about the case to police, he said security measures had been put in place to protect Uber drivers at intimidation hot spots, such as the Sandton Gautrain station.

“If we are aware of any intimidation in any area, we engage with driver partners to let them know that there are areas of intimidation, and offer extra security from former law enforcement agencies, where possible,” he said.

“We are becoming more and more aware of hot spots and we are committed to talking to meter taxi operators, policy makers, and law enforcement.”

There has already been talks with the ministers of transport and police about the tension between Uber and metered-taxi drivers.

Lits said Uber is looking at ways to improve their technology and trying new systems that would provide information to police.

Read more on:    uber  |  crime

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