Taxi driver held for attacking mom
NEWS / 01 Feb '13, 1:30pmBy: Henri du Plessis
Cape Town - A Gordon’s Bay woman was hit in the face by a taxi driver when she refused to let him pass in peak-hour traffic on the N2 near Athlone.
Rene Smit, 40, a sales manager at a Koeberg Road car dealership, said she was hit three times in the face through her car’s open driver’s window on Thursday about 8am, as she was driving to Tamboerskloof to drop her two small sons at their school.
Rene Smit was assaulted after an altercation with a taxi driver on the N2 in peak traffic. Photo: Nizaar Marli. Credit: Cape Argus
But the taxi driver got more than he bargained for when members of the police Flying Squad arrested him 15 minutes after the event.
“My cheek is swollen and my nose hurts. He really hit me hard,” Smit said on Friday morning.
“I was in a line of cars and the taxi was behind me, on the N2 direction Cape Town. We were near the Bhunga Avenue off-ramp.
“The guy was driving very close to my car’s rear and appeared to try to force me to give way so he could get past. He was trying to get by this way or that, but I wouldn’t let him because I knew if he got a gap he would scrape my car.
“When he could not get past, he hooted at me, so I hooted back. Then, at one point when the traffic stopped dead, he got out of the taxi and walked towards my car, but just then the traffic started moving and I moved forward.
“When the traffic stopped again, he got out, came up to my window and asked me what my problem was.
“I said, ‘no, what is your problem’, and he hit me, the first time with an open hand and then twice with his fist. My children were frantic and I was very shocked. He walked back to his taxi and forced his way past me but I took down his registration number.
“Two people from cars behind the taxi got out to help me but the guy got away. I then thought I should not be holding up the traffic, so I kept going and tried my best to remain calm in the presence of my two boys.
“But I called a friend, Nizaar Marlie, and sent him the registration number. Nizaar called the Flying Squad.”
Police quickly identified the vehicle and arrested its driver. Smit went to Pinelands police station and laid a charge against the driver.
“It was amazing how people, including the police, went as far as they could to help me. The police at Pinelands told me it was actually an Athlone police case but decided to take my statement and pass the case on to Athlone themselves, because they did not want to send me away in my traumatised state.
“Throughout the incident I just told myself to keep my cool. I strongly believe we law-abiding citizens should not give in to such thugs. All that happens is they take even more chances.”
Smit said the man was due to appear in court in two weeks. “The police helped me identify the man in an identity parade and they took great care of me throughout. I only have praise for how well they looked after me and handled the whole thing.”
Police were unable to comment on the incident at press time.