Clubber tells of taxi horror

2011-06-20 00:00

AN 18-year-old Crowded House clubber has warned other young female party lovers against the dangers of getting into a metered taxi alone after her ordeal at the hands of a driver, allegedly high on dagga.

The still-shaken teen spoke to The Witness after being convinced by a friend to speak out.

She told the paper that she had been placed in a metered taxi by a friend outside Crowded House, where she had been clubbing until the early hours of Sunday morning with her group of friends.

She usually travels home in a taxi with these friends. However, she had lost her friends yesterday amidst the partying.

“I won’t lie to you, I was drunk. A friend of mine got me in a taxi and gave the driver my address.” She said this was accompanied by a sharp warning for the driver to look after her.

On her way home, the girl asked the driver to stop at a Shell Garage in Athlone, where she bought a pie for herself and the driver.

However, when she got inside the passenger seat where she had been sitting, she noticed that the car smelt of dagga. Instead of driving towards Howick, the driver went around the circle towards the Townhill Police Station. She claims when the driver noticed a police van, he started “freaking out”.

“He started shouting for me to shut-up but I wasn’t saying anything. He told me that if I don’t shut-up he will kill me.”

The driver then allegedly started touching the girl, who was wearing shorts with stockings underneath, on her private parts.

She managed to jump out of the car and run back to the petrol station where she was assisted by a cashier to call a neighbour.

The teen and a friend who brought her to The Witness said it was not uncommon for cab drivers to smoke dagga while on duty, especially for the smaller taxi companies that charge cheaper rates.

While Crowded House offers a free shuttle service, it apparently doesn’t go everywhere. Most clubbers opt for the one-man taxi companies at bargain prices.

“We use cabs because it is the only other way of not drinking and driving,” the teen and her friend told the paper. “While the experience might have left a bad taste for clubbing with the teen for now, she said she will continue to party.

“I’m still young and will continue to party. But I have never felt more violated. Taxis should be safe because we are paying for that service. I personally don’t think I will get into another taxi again. “But my advice is for people not to take a chance with their lives. Don’t travel alone. Rather pay for an expensive taxi or get someone to pick you up.”

The teen doesn’t want to open a case with the police for fear of secondary trauma and fears of victimisation by the taxi driver, who she says now knows where she lives.

The taxi company she used is known to The Witness, however it could not be named in this article since it is not listed and could not be reached for comment.

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