MIniSkirt raid: mec at talks

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Gauteng MEC for community safety Firoz Cachalia yesterday met taxi bosses, women's rights groups and police commissioner Perumal Naidoo over the attack and sexual assault of a woman at the Noord Street taxi rank for wearing a miniskirt.

The 25-year-old Nwabisa Ngcukana's clothes were torn off her body and she was sexually assaulted by a group of taxi drivers at the rank on Sunday.

Also present at the meeting was Johannesburg metro chief Chris Ngcobo.

"The meeting was meant to condemn this barbaric act and for us to work together to arrest the perpetrators with the help of taxi bosses," community safety spokesman Dumisani Ngema said.

Convener of the Chapter of Progressive Women of South Africa and Tshwane mayor Gwen Ramokgopa said the meeting was very positive.

"We were on the same platform and agreed that a woman's rights had been violated," said Ramokgopa.

She also said it was agreed that the taxi industry must take primary responsibility and clean up their act and make sure their members did not commit the same offence again.

A programme of action would be developed after a stakeholder workshop in the next two weeks.

Sicelo Mabaso, chairman of the South African National Taxi Council, said that his organisation had launched safety campaigns for commuters which had started in Kwazulu-Natal.

Mabaso said they had tried to come up with a number of initiatives to make the industry safer for commuters.

Parliament's Joint Monitoring Committee on Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women also condemned the attack on Ngcukana.

The committee said it would support Ngcukana in pressing criminal charges and also help her to claim damages for crimen injuria against the alleged perpetrators.

Cachalia will visit the Noord Street taxi rank with police commissioner Naidoo, Ngcobo and women representatives to teach people to uphold the safety and dignity of women commuters at taxi ranks.