Driver assaults disabled woman
A taxi driver accused of assaulting a disabled woman passenger will appear before the taxi association's disciplinary committee today
The head of Kempton Park Taxi Association's disciplinary committee, Themba Majozi, confirmed that the driver, who cannot be identified before he appears, will answer to allegations of assaulting Mavis Mketelwa, 35, last week.
Mketelwa, a receptionist at a company in Kempton Park, says the driver assaulted her on her way home in central Johannesburg.
She has since opened a case with the police and written a letter of complaint to the Department of Transport about the incident.
Mketelwa, a polio victim who uses crutches to walk, described her ordeal yesterday.
"I got in on the front seat and opened the window. The driver demanded that I close it, but I explained to him that I was feeling hot and had flu.
"When he insisted, I requested that he switch off the heater.
"When the taxi stopped at the traffic lights, he told me to get off. I told him to stop at a safe place because he was in the middle lane.
"He then continued driving. It was only when he was about to get onto the highway that he returned my money and insisted that I alighted.
"I refused, saying the taxi had already gone too far and I could not walk back to the taxi rank. He got out, came to my side and pulled me out.
"I fell into the mud, and when he realised I was using crutches, he forcefully shoved me back into the taxi."
Majozi confirmed the matter would be dealt with today as the industry could not keep people who tarnished its image.
"We are trying to build business here. We do not tolerate such behaviour.
"That is why we have a disciplinary committee to deal with such complaints," Majozi said.
The alleged assault flies in the face of the recently unveiled plan by the national taxi representative body to combat rude behavioural conduct by drivers.
The plan, TR3 2020 Vision, is a strategy unveiled by the South African National Taxi Association's president Jabulani Mthembu to promote good customer care.
Senior Constable Michael Kgatla confirmed that police were investigating a case of common assault. He said no one had been arrested.