CCTV busts taxi 'rapist' assaulting passenger
The arrest of a taxi driver for the rape of a 23-year-old female passenger in Johannesburg has reignited fears of renewed attacks on women commuters.
Police said yesterday that a woman, who boarded a taxi in Naturena to Bree taxi rank at 6pm on Wednesday, was rescued from her attacker who was caught on camera.
A 31-year-old taxi driver was arrested for raping the passenger who was left alone in his taxi when the incident took place.
The suspect appeared at the Johannesburg magistrate's court on Friday and he was remanded in custody. He will appear again on Thursday for a formal bail application.
Police spokesperson Capt Xoli Mbele said other passengers in the taxi had been dropped off along the way.
Mbele said when they arrived at Bree taxi rank, the victim asked to get off the taxi, but the driver locked the doors and sped off with her to corner Wemmer Jubilee and Von Wielligh streets.
Mbele said the suspect was captured by CCTV cameras while dragging a half-naked woman into a bush. He said a police vehicle was dispatched immediately leading to the arrest of the suspect and the woman being rescued on time. The suspect, Mbele said, had already inserted his fingers into the woman's private part.
Mbele said police believe the suspect might be linked to several other taxi rapes that took place around Johannesburg since January. He said police will conduct DNA tests to see if the man was not linked to other cases.
"We plead with all women who were raped in taxi incidents to come to Johannesburg police," said Mbele.
Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Wayne Minaar said metro police officers responded to a call after they were told a woman was dragged by a man.
"They [officers] found the woman half-naked and screaming and managed to rescue her although she was already badly beaten.
"The suspect had already undressed and his pants were found inside his taxi," said Minaar.
Police have appealed for other victims that were raped by taxi drivers to contact Sgt Qondile Mkhabela from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences on 076 363 5770.