Top Star Taxi Association is adamant that its members did not harass two young women. The incident was captured on video that went viral last week.
The women were victimised and harassed at Mbombela Taxi Rank. The video was shared on WhatsApp.
The clip went viral a few days after the incident. It has sparked concerns regarding the safety and well-being of women in the city, and especially at taxi ranks.
In the video, the women are followed by a group of men who took photos and videos of them. In the clip one of the women’s dresses is pulled up and her skin is exposed.
The video displayed the trauma the two went through. According to the chairperson of Top Star, John Mavundla, he first heard about the incident on the radio and then started an investigation.
“The members and taxi drivers are well aware that we are totally against gender-based violence (GBV). When I heard about it the secretary of the association and I approached them to get to the bottom of this.”
“They said they did not harass the two women and they requested us to check the video so that we can see the people who did. When we checked we realised that it was actually done by people carrying plastic bags who had appeared to be walking from the shops towards the taxi rank.”
“According to the information I obtained, the taxi drivers assisted the pair by hiding them in one of the taxis. I was shown this taxi,” he explained.
Mavundla said while watching the video they noticed that some of the hawkers participated in this uncalled for incident by taking photos and videos of the harassment.
“We are not pleased with their action and we will take steps against this behaviour. We will have a meeting with the City of Mbombela Local Municipality (CMLM) on Thursday so that we can address this.”
“They are not part of the association. They are given permits by CMLM, not us. We have to approach the municipality so that it can solve this matter. We need it to speak to them because we do not approve of what they did,” he said.
This article was republished from Mpumalanga News with permission