Johannesburg taxi rank assault condemned

Johannesburg - The reported harassment and groping of two teenagers at the Noord Street taxi rank in central Johannesburg is a setback in the struggle for women's rights, a trade union said on Tuesday.

"The backward, chauvinistic and ugly scene where two teens were being harassed by taxi rank lumpens, or the dangerous class, should be condemned by all," National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) spokesperson Castro Ngobese said in a statement.

"The action of these lumpens that women should not wear miniskirts in public, including taxi ranks, borders on societal patriarchy and relegation of women into cheap sexual commodities as fostered and entrenched by [the] capitalist system."

The two teenagers were harassed and groped in public on Friday because one of them wore a miniskirt.

The Sowetan newspaper reported on Tuesday that a 17-minute long clip of CCTV footage shows one girl, wearing a black miniskirt, emerging from a shop where a crowd of between 50 and 60 men had gathered.

They follow her, groped her and took photos with their cellphones, the Sowetan reported.

She screamed at her tormentors and occasionally tried to punch them as they groped her. When her friend tried to help her she was also abused.

Johannesburg metro police intervened and accompanied the girl in the miniskirt home. A nearby businessman pulled the other into his shop. Metro police arrived a few minutes later and escorted her away.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane also condemned the incident.

"We learned with a deep sense of sadness and anger about the abuse of two young women on December 30 last year, because of their clothing," she said in a statement.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the animal-like behaviour of those men involved - some old enough to be the young women's fathers - where some males went as far as groping the young women."

This was reminiscent of an attack on another woman, Nwabisa Ngcukana, at the same taxi rank four years ago, said Mokonyane. She was stripped and sexually molested, for wearing a miniskirt.

"This incident not only tells us that women are still facing serious challenges of discrimination and gender-based violence, but also demonstrates that this taxi rank is becoming notorious for behaviour that goes against the moral fibre of the society we are trying to build," she said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Should the red carpet portion of SONA be scrapped this year?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's inappropriate given the state of the country
93% - 2722 votes
No, it's part of the tradition
7% - 198 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.50
+0.3%
Rand - Pound
21.17
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
18.81
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.21
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Platinum
985.15
-0.2%
Palladium
1,661.75
+0.5%
Gold
1,881.47
+0.4%
Silver
22.48
+1.4%
Brent Crude
83.69
+3.2%
Top 40
73,922
+0.7%
All Share
79,984
+0.6%
Resource 10
75,128
+0.7%
Industrial 25
103,381
+0.7%
Financial 15
16,370
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE