bum smack at rank

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

The assault and abuse of women continues at Noord Street taxi rank.

Another young woman was humiliated on Monday morning when she was smacked on her behind by a queue marshal while boarding a taxi.

Nondumiso Ngcukayithobi, 25, told Sowetan how the regular queue marshal responsible for manning taxis to Randburg smacked her repeatedly on her behind when she stepped into a taxi.

She said the marshal started shouting at people to move quickly into a taxi.

"The Randburg row was full, as it is every Monday morning.

"People were pushing and shoving, and moving slowly. In front of me was an old man. I had to follow him slowly to get to the taxi door," said Ngcukayithobi.

She said the marshal screamed at her to hurry up.

He came up to her shouting and complaining that she was moving too slowly.

"He was standing behind me and started smacking my behind repeatedly, while I tried to get into the taxi," said Ngcukayithobi.

While passengers told the marshal what he was doing was wrong, they later laughed it off on the taxi.

"I felt so humiliated and cheap. What he did left me uncomfortable and vulnerable," said Ngcukayithobi.

Her experience comes two weeks after 25-year-old Nwabisa Ngcukana's clothes were torn and she was sexually assaulted by taxi drivers at the rank.

Four other women had been stripped naked a few days before Ngcukana's humiliating experience.

Gauteng community safety MEC Firoz Cachalia met with women's rights groups, taxi bosses and law enforcement authorities.

They agreed that Ngcukana's rights had been violated and together with the taxi bosses promised to track down the culprits and make sure there were no repeat incidents.

Gauteng chairman of the Chapter of Progressive Women of South Africa Bishop Mapula Mtintso said the Noord Street taxi rank was notorious.

"It seems that men and women have lost sight of what humanity is. How long will this continue at the ranks?" asked Mtintso.

Ngcukayithobi has reported the matter to the Johannesburg Central police station, where a case of sexual harassment and indecent assault will be investigated.

Community safety spokesman Dumisa Ngema was not available for comment.