What was supposed to be a routine journey home for Bonani Gandilanga turned into a nightmare for the 25-year-old, who has detailed how she was robbed and told to jump from a moving taxi.
The loan consultant from Northpine said she usually travelled with a colleague after her shift in Parow, but they split up in Bellville where she had to take a different taxi.
However, last Thursday evening, Gandilanga said she was in a hurry and left work at around 6pm without her colleague to board a minibus taxi in Voortrekker Road.
She said at first she hesitated to board after noticing that there were only men inside.
“The gaatjie (taxi guard) told me they would pick people up along the way, and I thought to myself I would be safe. We drove for a while and I noticed that the taxi would slow down as if they were looking for commuters, but then they would pass people. I started getting nervous and asked why they were not picking people up. The gaatjie said they wanted people going straight to Bellville and those they passed were not,” Gandilanga said.
She said the taxi suddenly veered off Voortrekker Road and took another direction instead of heading towards Bellville, where she was going.
“At that point I was panicking and asked that they take the money and drop me off there as I was in a hurry.
“The driver said I must not worry, they won’t hurt me, and that he had to pick some people up. But since I’m ‘in a hurry’ he will turn and go to Sanlam Centre, where he usually collects commuters.
“I have never prayed as much as I did that day, I wanted to cry. The taxi turned and while approaching the main road, the gaatjie came to me and demanded my phone. He had a sharp object. I think it was a knife.
“He opened the door and told me to jump off. I fell on my side and the taxi drove over my foot while speeding off.
“Luckily another motorist saw the taxi speeding off and found me on the ground. I was still panicking. The motorist and his passengers offered to drive me home,” she said.
She said the next day she visited a doctor who gave her medication for her swollen foot and leg.
Gandilanga said her nightmare continued when she went to Parow police station on Monday to open a case but was allegedly turned away.
Police did not responded to requests for comment by deadline.