Taxi rank assault: Victim describes ordeal

2012-01-14 12:12

Johannesburg - An 18-year-old who was one of the two girls harassed and groped by a group of men at the Noord street taxi rank in central Johannesburg two weeks ago said she feared being gang raped during the incident.

Speaking to The Saturday Star, the Grade 12 pupil only identified as Nomthandazo to protect her identity, was quoted as saying: "Had I been wearing only underwear they would have raped me over and over again."

"That's how disgusting they were," she said.

Nomthandazo wore a black miniskirt with an animal print top while her 19-year-old friend, also only identified as Zama, wore black leggings and a black top with white bra straps showing.

She told the newspaper that she and her friend were still perturbed about the December 20 incident when they were groped and harassed by a group of howling and salivating men near the infamous taxi rank.

"Everything happened so fast. There were many of them. They chanted songs, laughed while taking pictures of us with their cellphones," said Nomthandazo.

Nomthandazo said she and her friend had been going from one store to another looking for a dress when the incident happened.

When they did not find the dress near the rank they decided to head to Carlton Centre hoping to find something there.

"No one helped"

However, in no time after the girls stepped out of the store they were greeted by a group of about 60 to 70 men.

"They followed us. We couldn't make out what they were singing. But I could see from their actions what their intentions were," Nomthandazo said.

She said while she and Zama walked along the corner of Twist and Bok streets one of the men pulled down Zama's top exposing her bra.

"She [Zama] pulled it back up but another one rushed towards her and pulled it down again taunting her," Nomthandazo said.

While the men harassed Zama, the others groped Nomthandazo.

"They wanted to pull my [skirt] up but I fought back. I wasn't going to let them win," she said.

The incident saw the girls run into a shop to buy tights, but they did not find them.

Nomthandazo said the men continued to follow them but were prevented from entering the shop by the owner.

"The shop owner told us to stay inside but it was getting late and we wanted to go home," she said.

The girl said apart from a woman who offered her a shawl to cover up, no one helped them.

Charges of intimidation and harassment

"Men and women just stood one bothered to help...," she said.

The teenagers were eventually rescued by metro police officers almost half an hour later and they have since lay charges of intimidation and harassment at the Johannesburg central police station.

The incident was caught on CCTV camera. Nomthandazo said she could not point out all the men except one of them who was wearing a Kaizer Chiefs shirt as seen in the CCTV video clip.

The incident was condemned by civil society and politicians, including Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane who described the behaviour of the men as "animal-like".

The girls' attack followed that of Nwabisa Ngcukana who was also harassed and groped at the taxi rank for wearing a miniskirt four years ago.

  • Shirley - 2012-01-14 12:29

    This is a double edged sword:In certain cultures woman are regarded beneath the man and so are treated with less respect. We often find young children being married off before they are 13 years old and this is seen as normal. No woman should ever be groped and/or manhandeld and fondeled in this way! The other side of the sword is I saw the footage of the girls and that skirt barely covered the bits that were supposed to be! Who in their right mind walks into a crowd of men dressed that way and expects to come out unscathed? I am in NO WAY condoning what the men did but surely one can realise the outcome! As a parent I would NEVER allow my child to leave the house dressed like that.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-14 12:43

      Quite correct Shirley. What both sides of the story point to, however, is that we have a very skewed image of what the human body represents. A naked man or woman is not wrong, in fact it is natural. We have skewed it and messed everything up, with ideas of evil and sin and nonsense.

      david.lebethe - 2012-01-14 12:50

      This are some of the traits that our children are picking up from Western media and soapies such as "Days of your Lives" and "Bold and the Beautiful". Would you say soapies such as those where a married man sleeps with his wife's friend is reflective of living standards of people in American? If so, then it is bad and is a trash that we are fed with everyday as you can imagine the impact it has in our society. I also don't condone what happened but sometimes we should listen to our inner voice especially when we have to venture out in public places.

      johncarlos.biza - 2012-01-14 12:57

      Reminds me of the 'slutwalk' debate. I don't think culture plays that significant a role, since women who comfortably wear miniskirts are not in conservative/cultural communities, and 'slutwalk' originated in England. It's just an issue of common decency and gender roles.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-14 13:04

      What is common decency Carlos? Your idea or mine or the Pope's? I think a person who is naked and takes care of their body is decent. I think an obese person hidden under a tent is indecent. So are loud children. It's all relative dude. :-)

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-14 13:05

      Um David, Zuma has 4 wives and sleeps with others. Stop blaming the USA. Besides, if you watch soap operas you have more trouble than worrying about a few affairs. Soap operas are for the foolish masses, turn that crap off.

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-14 13:23

      @Johncarlos Cynical Biza, Actually the "Slutwalk" started in Canada. Men should keep their hands to themselves whatever a female is wearing. I am offended by muslim women wearing a veil, but I don't have the right to go around pulling it off.

      Vegi - 2012-01-14 13:36

      goyougoodthing We are not interested in your silly interpretations of what is decent and what is not decent. The two girls are morons. They should be taught common decency. What was decent in the dark ages may not be decent now and vice versa. The girls did not ask for it but they are morons. Even if they were naked, nobody has a right to molest them. As for you moron Shirley, your desparaging remarks about our culture does not remove the blemishes of your evil culture. Your ancestors are known to have eaten their fellow compatriots. Your primitive leaders had no qualms about sacrificing their subjects to primitive gods. In fact many South African emigres have dissappeared in Europe recently, probably eaten in that evil continent.

      Riaad - 2012-01-14 13:51

      @Jeffrey Ask yourself why a Muslim woman's dress offends you? It should be the other way around. Half-naked women induce improper thoughts in a normal man - this is what is offensive. Unless your morality is so low that you are ok with improper thoughts?

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-14 15:36

      Riaad, seriously? What has being naked got to do with morals? What has impulse control got to do with how women or men dress. If the sight of a female makes you turn rabbid, you have the problem not the woman. Get some self control man.

      Riaad - 2012-01-14 17:53

      @goyougoodthing "What has being naked got to do with morals?" Huh? So then pornography is ok with you, you mean? I rest my case ...

      lezaan.venter - 2012-01-25 10:59

      Shirley are you saying, if someone wears mini skirts, they should expect to be treated this way?

  • Vegi - 2012-01-14 13:06

    I condemn the behaviour of these two girls in the strongest possible terms. I also condemn the animals who attacked the two naive girls.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-14 13:07

      What exactly did the girls do? Are you suggesting that they were 'asking for it'?

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-14 13:26

      What "behaviour" of the two girls are you refering to. Seems to me they were just walking along minding their own business.

      Vegi - 2012-01-14 13:43

      Jeffrey Why did they run to buy tights if they did not make fool of themselves?

      Last Outpost Of The British Empire - 2012-01-14 14:04

      Vegi you have a nice career waiting for you in Afghanistan. They also think that covering yourself in a burka is the only way forward for women.

      Warwick - 2012-01-14 18:08

      So Europe is an evil continent. Tell me Vegi, how many old blacks have met horrific, cruel and vile deaths here in good old SA by being accused of being witches. Not even convicted. And then the whole community, men, woman and children take part in this vicious killing. I mean really. This practice went out about 500 years ago in Europe. Do you believe this is right? Would you try and stop this happening? Do you speak out that old people are not witches and there is no tokoloshe so you do not need to put your bed on bricks? Would you go to the police and stand up in court to identify these killers? Or am I being silly here?

  • david.lebethe - 2012-01-14 13:41

    @John Carlos and goyougoodthing. I suppose "decency" would also mean listening to your inner voice. Otherwise, it becomes subjective if it is not reciprocal. Soapies are everywhere on the television, whether it is SABC or pay channels and we just can't avoid unless you are ignorant. There is no denying that at the heart of this matter is clash of cultures and therefore culture determines how one dresses and should carry oneself in public. If it is acceptable in our culture to marry 4 wives and not so in another culture, then we are bound to experience a clash. However, it becomes intolerable (just like what happened around Noord Street taxi rank and the furore whete people and their organisations caused when the King was destined to Kill a bull in recognition of Zulu culture in the KZN, the other day) and unacceptable when one imposes ones culture over the other. In short, it is utterly nonsensical to submit that culture doesn't play part in the debate.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-14 15:39

      David, you are right about culture, it is only cultural norms which equate to 'moral' decency. I have no problem with naked people and seeing them does not make me want to touch and force myself on them. I understand there are different norms however if someone chooses to dress differently it does not give anyone from any culture the right to accost them. In terms of Soapies... turn off the telly or switch to discovery. No DTSV? SAFM is a good listen. There is no need to ever watch a soapie :-)

  • Sebastian - 2012-01-14 13:53

    The comments here are shocking. This two poor girls went through a horrible odeal. A woman should be allowed to wear whatever she feels comfortable in. This was typical "Male" behaviour of people that didn't know better. Its also shocking to read that no one helped them. Those involved should be ashamed! What would you do if it would your daughters? You would scream for those men's blood!

      Vegi - 2012-01-14 13:58

      You should then tell your wife to walk down Main Street in panties.

      Riaad - 2012-01-14 14:08

      The men were wrong, no doubt. But to believe that the way women dress is not going to affect the risk of being sexually assulted, is being naive in the extreme. Men without moral codes will do as their hormones dictate. A woman who does not take notice of this fact is sadly going to be the next statistic.

  • Vegi - 2012-01-14 13:57

    Shirley As for you moron Shirley, your desparaging remarks about our culture does not remove the blemishes of your evil culture. Your ancestors are known to have eaten their fellow compatriots. Your primitive leaders had no qualms about sacrificing their subjects to primitive gods. In fact many South African emigres have dissappeared in Europe recently, probably eaten in that evil continent. Idiot.

      Shirley - 2012-01-14 14:18

      REALY? In my culture we dont go around killing people becaue we "SUSPECT" them of being witches. We dont marry off our 12/13 year old children to strangers. We dont beat a man to death because he is from another country and moves into my township. We dont use body parts and muti believing we will be cured, win the lotto or get rich. We dont set councillers houses alight because we dont like the prepaid electricity. We dont believe that having sex with a virgin will cure us from aids. So look at your own upstanding race before you spew your rascist cr@p!!!!!!

      Grant - 2012-01-14 23:33

      I think Vegi is quite insane (South Africans being eaten in Europe).

  • jacques.vermaak - 2012-01-14 14:05

    What do you expect from animals?

  • Tswaledi - 2012-01-14 14:10

    Let's be honest to ourselves, how many parents can walk with their daughters dressed like that in town, how many men can walk with their girlfriends dressed like that in town? If we do not respect ourselves who else will? dress nicely (both men and women) and people will be nice to you

      Shirley - 2012-01-14 14:31

      Sanity at last!

  • david.lebethe - 2012-01-14 14:41

    @Shirley. You have now gone too far. You seem to be taking swipe at black people generally yet, witches are old and vintage white practice, which you can't blame it on black people. Xenophobia is a global phenomenon. In order to protect resources most government (America,England, France, Australia, etc) have introduced stringent immigation laws. It is therefore understandable why the poor and unemployed took up arms against foreigners - of course, something that you would not understand when you are in your comfort zone. Despite all the difficulties that we go through, we don't vent our frustrations on our wives and order workers to rape them.

      Shirley - 2012-01-14 15:06

      Why does the truth hurt? Yes witches were/are white but we dont go around killing people because we "suspect" they are witches.Is Kotze going to be the frame of refernce used for white/black arguments? Tell me this-if you think I have gone too far-howcome you condone the comment made by VEGI? You are just angerd by the fact that I have hit a nerve. P.s being poor is NO excuse to kill someone who is trying to make a better life for him/herself.... and black people should understand this better than anyone else,afterallin your book its rascisism to condem by skin colour-what about country?

      Irene - 2012-01-14 17:47

      Gavy it seems 'lyk' you can't spell. OBE education? Thank your ANC for that pal.

  • Shirley - 2012-01-14 15:48

    GAVY: all you do is complain about apartheid and I am so glad you admit anc policies are against whites! Im not bitter,Im a realist and quiet frankly you are not worth the effort!

      Gavy Badiata - 2012-01-14 15:59

      Simple: move to orania n join ur otha brothers n sistas who r nt "happy"

      Wally - 2012-01-14 16:38

      Shirley, no need to defend yourself against the racism claims. No point in doing that. Ppl like Gavy and many more will never understand the concept that the struggle was to have a better life for all. I am not a Verwoerd follower. He died long before I was born! I do not want to stay in Orania - not my idea of what SA shld be like. I cannot go to Europe because I was born and bred in this country - South Africa - the ONLY country of origin I intimately know. If I had to move to the "country of origin" it wld be hopeless as I wld hv to determine first which country I actually wld belong to...the answer is simple - NONE! I belong here. Unfortunately many ppl live in a form of Eutopia where they will get everything for free and don't want to see the truth for what it is and can't understand that we are all concerned about the prosperity of the country for us ALL, more so the poor. Sad but true. Thankfully there are many Black ppl, and the numbers are growing, who understand politics, economics and how to hv a decent life. So by the way, I do not buy into the crap that the issue of witches was a European thing. Yes, there too is this evil phenomenon, but the Black cultures know about witch doctors and black magic/dirty magic for ages. Plz follow up on the Rock of Execution near Port St Johns and why it was infamous. This is but one example.

      Warwick - 2012-01-14 18:51

      Its amzing how you can only go on about a handful of incidence where whites are involved. There are thousands of incidences where blacks are involved. Why? Kill and burn old woman and men because they are "witches", what a joke. Sleep with virgin young girls to cure aids. Kidnap and marry young girls and force yourselves on them,ukuthwala, because you ae to lazy and cook for yourselves.

  • david.lebethe - 2012-01-14 16:23

    @Shirley. Sorry, I got distracted by other things. In fact, when it took you long to reply, I concluded that you are concurring with my submission. Nonetheless, I am happy that you agree that whites are witches. And just 'witches" anywhere, they kill. Kotze is not my only point of reference - there are many stories to tell about whites who have done horrendous things some far worse than Kotze. it is just that Kotze was not discreet about it otherwise we would not have this round condemnation about the man. You see, my problem with you, is that you are so blinded by hatred towards black people and their government that everything you see it along those lines - something that Vegi warned you about but to no avail. Maybe if you could deepen your thoughts a little when you are confronted with issues, you might make sense. But for now, all your submissions subtly racist and typically liberal for that matter. It is this subtlity that I hate because it is deceiving and deceptive to many unsuspecting blacks. it would have been better if you had nailed your true colours on a mask in order to be seen for what you are.

      Vegi - 2012-01-14 17:02

      You have laid bare the anatomy of this racist called Shirley. Thank you very much.

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-14 17:55

      Actually the last killings of witches in Europe were about 400 years ago, generally speaking. In SA it's still an ongoing practice in some provinces. So SA is about 400 years behind the times as far as witch killing is concerned.

      Warwick - 2012-01-14 18:52

      How many in the last year?

      Mandy Mc Donald - 2012-01-15 01:43

      vegi and david L are trolls...ignore them

  • Irene - 2012-01-14 17:11

    VEGI ~ Why don't you just PO from this forum as well. Wasn't the continual thrashing you got at TimesLive enough for you, or are you into S&M? You're a repulsive little creep and as I've told you many times before, it is quite obvious that you're an only child who's parents idolised every revolting word that came out of your vile mouth. Not so in the real world and I'm sure 99% of the people on this blog site would like to see the back of you. So please, do us all a favour and PO back to rock you crawled out of. Repulsive little creep.

      Vegi - 2012-01-14 17:24

      Why should I bother about you little rightwing nobody?

      Irene - 2012-01-14 17:33

      Oh I see, so we're on 'rightwingers' at the moment. Once that novelty wears off will you be moving on to cannibals? See how predictable you are little one?

  • Jeffrey - 2012-01-14 17:43

    @Vegi, Since when are people not allowed to make fools of themselves without being sexually harassed? Anyway, I don'td think the girls were making fools of themselves, they are perfectly entitled to wear miniskirts. Just take a look around you in any urban/suburban area.

  • Warwick - 2012-01-14 18:00

    Once again its black men involved, showing their masculinity in public. Only tough when in a big group. Simple minded men. And the scary thing is these perverts have an equal vote. Filthy child molestors the lot of them. Must be a so called "culture" thing with this lot.

      Yolokazi Lethabo Langeni - 2012-01-15 13:19

      Did you have to bring race into it?? *rolling eyes* Were we not reading about some white guy who orchestrated an attack by a group of men on his ex-wife a week ago? Really now, monsters & cowards exist everywhere, regardless of race.

  • Grant - 2012-01-15 00:16

    I don't believe these girls are as innocent as they make out to be. They will know that Africans are conservativeand the way they were dressed is frowned upon. Even in the west only prostitutes would dress the way they did. "...Nomthandazo to protect her identity, was quoted as saying: "Had I been wearing only underwear they would have raped..." Curious one that. Do they usually walk around town in their underwear?

      Mandy Mc Donald - 2012-01-15 01:16

      vegi is a troll...ignore him!

  • Mandy Mc Donald - 2012-01-15 01:56

    Vegi and david L are trolls...just ignore them!!

      Grant - 2012-01-15 05:19

      Is Mandy correct Vegi - are you one of the trolls opperating from Luthuli House who are paid to post comments? I remember it used to happen all the time when timeslive allowed comments. Timeslive have stopped comments on their forum.The same could happen here on News24 (perhaps that's the ANC's intention...)

  • lezaan.venter - 2012-01-25 10:57

    @ shirley, let me see if i understand you correctly, are you saying if one wears mini skirts, one should expect to be treated this way?

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