A video of a man punching and strangling a woman in a minibus taxi sparked an uproar when it trended on social media at the weekend.
Apparently, the pair were sitting in a taxi that was loading for a trip from Pietermaritzburg to Durban when the incident happened.
Fellow passengers did not intervene as the man stood on his seat and repeatedly punched the woman who was sitting behind him. “You don’t know me so don’t mess with me,” he kept saying as he hit her.
He then pinned her down on her seat and said “Driver, I’m going to kill her, I’m going to kill her.”
She tried fighting back was overpowered as he tried to strangle her.
Eventually she managed to pull away and hauled insults at him as she tried to make her way to the taxi’s door in attempt to escape further assaults.
On Sunday, KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Nonhlanhla Khoza, said she had been inundated with calls and text messages after the video of the assault was shared widely on social media. “It doesn’t matter what might have led to the man to act so cruelly against the defenseless woman. His actions are unjustifiable. This heartbreaking scene shows that we have men who are violent by nature on women,” she said.
Khoza called on the victim to come forward in order to be helped with psychosocial support. She said it would be applauded if police set an example with that man “who displayed high levels of hooliganism”.
“This matter cannot go unchallenged. Our daily occurrences of women abuse, rape and murders need us as the society to be united in isolating those involved in such cruelty against women and children.
“We commend passengers who recorded the video for bringing this matter to our attention,” she said.
Khoza said social media should be used as a potent weapon against such patriarchy in society.
She said the government had signed a memorandum of understanding with SA National Taxi Council to end such incidents in the transport industry and the society at large.
“We call on Santaco to work with the police to expose the person involved in this despicable incident.
“The industry has to rid itself of such people to protect its image and business,” said Khoza.