WATCH | E-hailing driver speeds off with customer's children, saying he feared metered taxi drivers

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  • An e-hailing driver sped off with two of his customer's children in the car, fearing violence by metered taxi drivers.
  • The incident was caught on CCTV camera and shows four armed local security guards forcing the driver out of his vehicle.
  • Initial reports indicated that it was a hijacking, prompting the JMPD to investigate.

A Johannesburg e-hailing driver sped off with two of his customer's children in the car, allegedly fearing violence by metered taxi drivers. The children's father thought they were being kidnapped and flagged down local security, who gave chase.

The incident, initially thought to be a hijacking, happened on Saturday at the corner of Commissioner and Kruis streets in the Johannesburg CBD.

Video footage of the event attracted the attention of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department's (JMPD) undercover reaction unit, which investigated the matter.

The video shows four armed men jump out of a golden Toyota Corolla, and force the driver of another vehicle to open the car doors. It also shows the men dragging the e-hailing driver out of the car and slapping him while holding firearms.

JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla explained that a man had requested a ride for his wife and three children.

When two of the children got into the car, the e-hailing driver allegedly noticed metered taxi drivers rushing to attack him. 

"He sped off with two children, leaving the father, mother, and one child behind," Fihla said.

READ | More than 1 400 people died on SA roads during festive season, most deaths in Gauteng - Mbalula

"It was further alleged that the father ran after the car, which was skipping red traffic lights," he added.

Unable to keep up with the car, the father flagged down a Toyota Corolla to assist with the chase. Inside were a group of armed local security officials. 

The e-hailing driver explained that he had dropped the children off a few traffic lights earlier.

"The children were found safe," Fihla said.

JMPD officials tracked down the father and the occupants of the Corolla.

"It was discovered that the occupants of the Toyota Corolla were members of a local security company, their details, firearms as well as firearm permits were verified and all is in order," Fihla added.

He said the e-hailing driver acknowledged that by speeding off he gave the impression that he was kidnapping the children. The e-hailing driver and father reached an agreement and decided not to open cases against one another.

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