Woman demands justice for assault

2018-09-20 06:02
Sive Lumka claims she was assaulted by a taxi driver at Somerset West Taxi Rank, who refused to allow her and a friend in his taxi as a result of their weight.PHOTO: Velani Ludidi

Sive Lumka claims she was assaulted by a taxi driver at Somerset West Taxi Rank, who refused to allow her and a friend in his taxi as a result of their weight.PHOTO: Velani Ludidi

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A Nomzamo woman is livid and wants justice after she was allegedly assaulted for being fat at the Somerset West Taxi Rank on Saturday 8 September.

Sive Lumka and a friend wanted to travel home by taxi from Somerset West when the alleged incident occurred. “The taxi driver said we cannot get into his taxi because we are fat,” the 26-year-old claims. “He said we would damage his taxi.

“I asked him whether he is the owner of the taxi or whether he is hiring the vehicle. We continued exchanging words.”

Lumka says she was offended by the blatant body shaming by the driver and could not stand hearing his insults. “I could not keep quiet while he was insulting me,” she alleges, adding that other taxi drivers at the rank looked on, while some tried to stop the man. “He then got angry and started beating me.”

Lumka claims she was swollen and bleeding after the beating, and her dentures were broken in the process. “I went home and my mom took me to the police station to open a case,” she added.

Her mother, Nolubabalo Lumka, says she was in disbelief when her bloodied daughter entered the house. “There was blood all over her face and clothes,” Nolubabalo says.

“I was upset and hurt to see my daughter in such a state. I really did not like what I saw. The taxi driver must be held accountable for his actions.”

After opening the case at the police station and receiving medical attention, the mother and daughter also went to the Lwandle taxi rank to report the matter at the local taxi association. The alleged perpetrator was called in and he admitted to beating her, Lumka says.
“He said he got angry and could not contain himself,” she claims. “A representative of the association asked for the costs of my dentures and travel costs to the doctor. They said they would be in touch with me.”

But an irate Lumka says the driver did not offer her an apology. “He did not even have the decency to apologise and the association’s representatives did not ask him to either,” she related. “I feel they failed me.”

Jerry Bobi, secretary of the Lwandle Taxi Association, tells City Vision the matter is still under investigation. “The case was brought before us and we called the woman and the driver in question,” he confirmed.

“The driver will be subject to a disciplinary hearing, we informed the woman we would contact her. We wanted to sort out the costs involved, discipline the driver and ask him to apologise.”

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut confirmed the police are investigating an assault case. “An assault case is being investigated by Somerset West police in relation to the incident,” he said. “No-one has been arrested or charged yet.”

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