Government condemns manhandling of female taxi passenger

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File: The taxi driver attempts to pull the woman from the taxi and also swears at her.

JOHANNESBURG - A video of a South African taxi driver manhandling a female passenger got tongues wagging after it was uploaded to Facebook this week.

In the video, the driver attempts to pull the woman from the taxi and also swears at her.

After seeing the video, The Department of Women issued a statement, urging all citizens to do their part in ending violence against women.

"President Jacob Zuma and Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Honourable Susan Shabangu, urges every member of the society not to look away when violence against women and children transpires.

"Two days since the launch of 16 Days for No Violence Against Women and Children, we rouse to the video footage of an alleged taxi driver assaulting a woman. Those in the taxi --which include three women and two men -- kept silent as the woman was being embarrassed and assaulted," the statement said.

"This is exactly what we mean when we say government cannot fight the scourge alone. It takes all of us to intervene and correct the violent treatment by men towards women. The eradication of this plague is only possible if all of us do something."

The statement said the unbecoming actions of a taxi driver are another level of disrespect.

"While government and society at large are calling for the protection of women, he does exactly what we speak against.

"Our action towards activism will be impractical campaigns and will give rise to violence if we do not work together.

"Let us all do our part in stopping this violence."

The statement said no woman should be beaten or attacked in any manner anywhere in South Africa and that those who perpetuate such behaviour do not have a place in society.

The South African Taxi Passengers Association also condemned the actions of the taxi driver.

Spokesperson Phillip Dlamini said they regret this situation.

"From face value, it is a criminal act perpetrated by the alleged taxi driver on the female passenger. We encourage the victim to report this senseless attack to both the police and the taxi association.

"(We) condemn, in the strongest term, this senseless attack on defenceless female taxi commuter. We will take this up with the United Taxi Associations Front (UTAF).

"We call upon the relevant taxi association to take disciplinary steps against the perpetrator of this horrible act," he said.

A representative for UTAF, Jabulani Nkosi, said he would issue a statement after viewing the video.

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