'I FACED MY DEMONS'

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Nwabisa Ngcukana returned to Johannesburg's Noord Street taxi rank for the first time yesterday since she was sexually molested three weeks ago for wearing a miniskirt.

"I had to come back to face my demons and to show my attackers that I am not afraid."

Ngcukana joined hundreds of women in a protest march against the abuse of women at the taxi rank.

Defiantly wearing a short grey dress and high-heeled shoes, Ngcukana, 25, said she participated in the march to pledge her support and "reclaim her rights".

She was stripped and sexually molested by taxi drivers for wearing what they claimed was an offensive garment.

The protest, led by Talk Radio 702 host Redi Direko, was the second to be held in the city since Ngcukana's attack.

Carrying placards and singing, the women marched from the Johannesburg Art Gallery to the notorious taxi rank. Dressed in a short khaki skirt, Direko carried a placard that read: "So gcoka izigcebhe masifuna" - We'll wear our miniskirts when we want.

She said a code of conduct for taxi drivers should be enforced and that a class action lawsuit be taken against taxi drivers guilty of harassment. "If an example is made, it will discourage this kind of behaviour."

She encouraged women to be defiant but "not put yourselves in danger".

Ngcukana said she was disappointed that only one man had been arrested in connection with the attack made on her.

"It's all talk and no action. I want those responsible to be brought to book," she said.

702's Direko chastised drivers at the rank who howled at the demonstrators.

"If you are abusing women consider that one day it could be your daughter, your mother or your wife."

Nunu Ntuli, speaking for the One in Nine campaign, said the law still offered "little protection" for victims of violence.

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