‘A warning’: Jozi passenger shares taxi kidnapping, beating horror

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A Johannesburg woman has detailed her horrific account of her kidnapping and beating at the hands of criminals in a taxi ride from hell this week.

In a lengthy Twitter thread, the woman also urged fellow commuters to be “vigilant” when travelling in public transport.

PASSENGER DETAILS KIDNAPPING HORROR

The woman, named Maranatha Marara – who uses the Twitter handle @Marara_Natha – revealed that she was a “victim of kidnapping and robbery in Fourways” on Monday afternoon.

The Wits graduate shared her harrowing account – adding in “red flags” she ignored during the horrific taxi ride.

She tweeted:

“I got on a taxi (Quantum) yesterday at around 17:40 just outside The Parks near McDonald’s as I usually do. There were two men in it (1st mistake) so it was just the 3 of us, and my intention was to get to Randburg.

“The driver asked me nicely where I was going (usual chats) and I paid accordingly. At first, I noticed that this taxi did not have the yellow stickers that I usually see on the windshield of the taxi. But I didn’t think much of it because I’d used one like it before (2nd mistake).

Just then the ride took a dangerous detour.

She continued:

“Not too far from Dainfern Square along William Nicol, the passenger pulled out a gun, jumped from the passenger seat to the row I was sitting at, and told me that this was a robbery. He forced me to sit on the floor of the taxi and not dare scream.

“I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me. I just remember thinking to myself that these people are going to shoot me and kill me anyway because I’ve seen their faces, and I prayed to God for dear life”.

The woman handed the kidnappers her banks cards and pins as well as her phone and  passwords which they used to access her banking app and increase her withdrawal limits

Feeling brave, the woman then attempted to make a bold escape, a decision that would cost her a beating.

She continued: “I had pepper spray in my bag and was trying to see if I could escape by jumping out of the moving taxi from the passenger door (3rd mistake). Once they saw was I was trying to do, I got strangled to almost the point of passing out. This aggravated them and the driver then changed the route to turn into the area that I think is near Lonehill into a bushy deserted field

“I then received the slapping of my life, being told that I just needed to co-operate. And at this point, they said I’d get to see how a person dies.

“I then apologised and we went back to William Nicol and then at some point what looked like Bryanston, but on Witkoppen road. This is where they stopped and the driver went out to go make his withdrawals”.

‘THEY CLEANED MY ACCOUNTS OUT’

Fearing for her life, the woman waited whilst her bank accounts were emptied during her kidnapping.

She continued:

“They eventually finished with their transactions and dropped me off at Monte Circle where they warned me that if I dared scream or try anything (i.e. try to get their number plates), they’d shoot me.

“Those guys cleaned both my Absa and Capitec accounts out, including my savings meaning I’m left with zero for the rest of this month”.

The woman then called her bank’s fraud hotlines and was told that an “investigation” would be launched.

“I honestly have no hope will reimburse me for all my losses. I don’t have a car, and I can’t afford to travel around using Ubers so the same taxis that I’ve been traumatised in are the same taxis I’ll still need to use to get around God knows however long.

“I’m just hoping that this will serve as a warning to the people who do use taxis to never get on to a taxi with only 2 or 3 men (I used to think nothing would ever happen but I got proven wrong yesterday).

“I wish none of this on anyone. It’s one of the most traumatic things I’ve ever been through. I guess I’m only sharing this for anyone that might have better luck than me in a situation like this”.

Read the full thread here

TWEEPS SHARE SIMILAR STORIES

Shockingly, many tweeps shared similar stories of kidnappings, beatings, and in one case, even a rape, after boarding a taxi.

@bongi_annointed: “I was raped in the same type of setup and beaten and left for dead in a veld. Taking taxis to date is still very traumatic. I even hate seeing a fire extinguisher because I was beaten with it”

@crodiaa: “This is exactly what happened to me in the same area. All events, everything. It has to be the same guys because the tactics are the same”

@pam_shoziii: “The same thing happened to two of my colleagues a couple of weeks ago, exactly as you described it. They got the taxi next to Steyn City”

@MmathaboMaloma3: “This happened to me in Boksburg last year with my cousin. There were three men inside the taxi. These days I make sure that the taxi has plenty of people before I jump into it. It was a traumatic experience”

ALSO READ: ‘Kidnapping crisis’: 32 cases since March – Cape Town calls for dedicated task team

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