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Women in miniskirt attacked at taxi rank

TWO Johannesburg teenagers were humiliated, harassed and groped in public last week - all because one of them wore a miniskirt.

The disturbing scenes of a crowd of grown men chasing the girls near the infamous Noord Street taxi rank and then proceeding to grope them were captured on CCTV.

Sowetan has seen the 17-minute footage in which some men pulled out their cellphones and took pictures of one of the victim's thighs and bottom.

The first girl to be groped wore a black miniskirt with an animal print top, while her friend wore black leggings and a black top with white bra straps showing.

The scenes that played themselves out on Friday evening were reminiscent of those almost four years ago when Nwabisa Ngcukana was stripped and sexually molested for also wearing a miniskirt - at the same taxi rank.

In the footage, the two girls - one believed to be 16 years old - emerge out of a nearby shop in the city at 6.31pm.

By that time, a crowd of between 50 and 60 men had already gathered outside the shop.

As the first girl, who was dressed in the black miniskirt, walks out of a shop, the men follow her and start abusing her.

In the video one man takes out his cellphone and starts taking pictures. Another emerges from the crowd, slaps the girl's bottom and gropes her.

Clearly frustrated and angry, the girl tries to fight back but other men take the distraction as an opportunity to grab her behind.

At one point the girl is completely surrounded by the lustful crowd of men. She folds her arms and looks at them before walking off.

She can be seen screaming at her tormentors, occasionally trying to punch them after they have groped her but that does not help.

They keep on coming back - taking pictures with their cellphones and groping her.

Her friend comes to her rescue but she is also subjected to abuse.

The girls walk side-by-side in the middle of the road as the large crowd looks on.

The one teenager seems embarrassed and resorts to folding her arms across her chest, looking ahead.

Her friend gesticulates at the men hurling abuse while she pushes her skirt down with her right hand.

Ten minutes after her ordeal began, the girl in the black miniskirt is escorted from the scene by two Johannesburg Metro police officers.

The other teenager is then left behind.

The men turn their attention to her, also taking cellphone images of her bottom and groping her.

Luckily, a shop owner nearby sees the commotion and pulls her into his shop at 6.42pm.

Six minutes later metro police officers arrive to escort her away but the men put up a fight.

The cops eventually win.

The teenager's brother, who asked not to be identified, told Sowetan that his sister arrived home that evening accompanied by the police.

"When she arrived home she was in tears," the brother said.

"I asked the police what happened and they said a group of men had attacked my sister and her friend. It seems the men had been fondling them because they wore miniskirts."

The brother said his sister was angry at being humiliated in public because of what she was wearing.

Neither the teenager's brother nor metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar could confirm whether a case had been opened.

The brother said he would wait for the teenager to "calm down" before talking to her about opening a case.

Minnaar said: "I can't confirm or deny whether a case has been opened but there is a strong possibility that the (CCTV) footage will be the subject of a criminal investigation."

Sowetan was unable to get hold of the other victim.