South Africa

KZN social development calls for arrest of man who allegedly tried to suffocate woman in taxi

KZN social development calls for arrest of man who allegedly tried to suffocate woman in taxi

The social development department in KwaZulu-Natal has urged police to find and arrest a Pietermaritzburg man who allegedly tried to suffocate a woman in a taxi. The incident was caught on camera by shocked witnesses.

The department said on Sunday MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza had been inundated with calls and text messages after a video was shared widely on social media  “showing a woman being badly assaulted in a minibus taxi”. 

“It is alleged the taxi was loading passengers from Pietermaritzburg to Durban when the man pounced on a defenceless woman and attempted to suffocate her between the seats,” said Khoza.  

She said the video shared “was heart-breaking as the woman screamed while being assaulted by the man”.

“It doesn’t matter what might have led the men to act so cruelly against the defenceless woman. His actions are unjustifiable. This heart-breaking scene shows we have men who are violent by nature on women,” she said. 

Khoza called on the woman to come forward for psychosocial support. 

She said “it would be pleasing to see the 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 murder need us, as 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,.”

Khoza said social media should be used as a potent weapon against such patriarchy in society. 

She said government had signed a memorandum of understanding with the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) “to end such incidents in the transport industry and 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.