- E-hailing app Bolt South Africa has suspended a driver accused of rape from its platform.
- A woman took to social media to share her friend's horrific ordeal, allegedly at the hands of a Bolt driver.
- Bolt says it has engaged with the victim several times.
E-hailing app Bolt South Africa has suspended one of its drivers who was accused of sexual assault over the weekend.
"Bolt is aware of the incident in which a young woman suffered a terribly traumatic experience in Cosmo City. We have engaged with her several times, and we are fully cooperating with the Honeydew police station in their investigation into the incident, as this is where she has opened a case.
Bolt's regional manager for SADC, Gareth Taylor, said in a statement on Tuesday:
This was after a woman took to social media on Friday, stating her friend had been sexually assaulted, allegedly by a Bolt driver.
This prompted many users to caution members of the public, especially women, about the e-hailing app and urging them to delete it for their safety.
When asked by News24 on its vetting process for drivers, Bolt said those who wanted to use its platform to connect with passengers required a professional driving permit issued by local authorities.
"This permit is only granted to applicants who pass a full criminal background check completed by the authorities. Only persons with a clear record are permitted to join the platform," Taylor added.
Bolt said it prohibited drivers from authorising any other person to use their Bolt Driver Account.
The e-hailing service said this amounted to fraud, and it would not hesitate to lay charges against any individual that committed this crime.
In addition, Bolt has appointed forensic investigators to look into the issue.
The e-hailing service said it continued to look for ways to make e-hailing safer for everybody, in consultation with its stakeholders.
"Bolt condemns any form of sexual harassment or violence of any kind directed towards e-hailing passengers because it believes that every South African has the right to move around without risk of harm, intimidation or coercion, or fear of harassment, injury, or death" Taylor added.
News24 contacted Gauteng police for comment. It will be added once received.
Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.