Driver in Uber rape case will spend Christmas in jail

Julia Madibogo | 06 December, 2016 14:29

A former Uber driver‚ accused of robbing‚ kidnapping and raping his passengers will spend Christmas in jail.

The 25-year-old along with three of his alleged accomplices appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday where they all dropped their bail bids.

Elias Mankgane‚ Daniel Maswikaneng‚ Themba Mkwanazi and Bangu Sikosana were remanded in police custody until their matter appears in court again on February 6.

The four men face charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances‚ multiple rapes and kidnapping.

The men allegedly went on an spree attacking Uber passengers around Johannesburg this year.

In one incident a complainant was allegedly robbed of about R5‚000 and raped in a veld after getting into the Uber taxi she had called to collect her from Montecasino in Fourways.

The complainants’ lawyer Ulrich Roux said the men abandoned bail in fears that their stories will not add up in court.

Roux said: "We are happy that the men are not somewhere out there but they are in police custody and will not be getting bail. All four of them are in custody and we will make sure that justice for the victims prevail."

The attacks were carried out using the same modus operandi. The complainants described that upon entering the taxi‚ two men jumped from the boot through a back seat and started attacking them.

The men kidnapped the passengers‚ robbed and raped some of the victims.

The Uber driver previously denied that he was involved in any of the attacks‚ saying he may have driven the vehicle but knows nothing of the attacks on the alleged victims.

“I was the driver of the motor vehicle in which the complainants allegedly travelled in‚” he said in a sworn statement adding that he does not know the complainants.

The matter was postponed to February 6 for further investigations and for the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to decide on whether the matter should be transferred to a high court due to its seriousness or continue in the magistrate’s court.


{Part 2 below}

Cop probing Uber rape case was arrested for taking a bribe from suspects

Julia Madibogo | 06 December, 2016 11:26

A police officer assigned to investigate an Uber driver and his accomplices accused of various crimes was arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe.

This emerged in the Randburg Magistrates Court where the driver and three other suspects appeared on charges of kidnapping‚ robbing and sexually assaulting passengers in the Johannesburg area recently.

The police officer appeared separately in the Kempton Park Magistrates Court on charges of corruption.

“He was arrested about two months ago and has appeared in court a number of times. He will be back in court again soon‚” police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini said.

The police officer‚ who was initially investigating the matter‚ was allegedly bribed by two of the suspects to avoid being charged.

The suspects and the driver are part of a gang that is being charged with attacking Uber passengers using the same modus operandi.

In one incident‚ a passenger was attacked after she called for an Uber taxi to collect her from Montecasino in August.

Upon entering the taxi‚ the woman said two men who had been hiding in the boot pushed through the back seat and attacked her.

She was allegedly taken to a deserted area were she was raped‚ assaulted and robbed. She was billed for the ride by Uber.

The woman's lawyer‚ Ulrich Roux‚ said he was happy the arrests have been made.

“The details of the police officer’s arrests are a bit sketchy‚ on my part. The Gauteng police made the arrest. He is facing corruption charges as he was initially working on the matter. We have welcomed the arrest and we believe justice will prevail in this matter‚” Roux said.