Teen’s cab ride horror
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Cape Town - A night out to celebrate a homecoming turned to horror for a teenager in the southern suburbs. Dragged out of a taxi cab, beaten, kicked, and pinned down, Sanet de Lange made a miraculous escape – fighting off and fleeing from her attackers and hiding in a pile of dried leaves along the roadside.
The 18-year-old from Welgelegen remembers very little of the horrific ordeal she lived through on Thursday night – from where she partied, to exactly where the incident too place. Her mother, also named Sanet, said her daughter is trying to piece together what happened in order to open a case for the police to investigate.
“She can’t really have a conversation. She says a lot of broken things, but it’s getting better each day,” De Lange told the Cape Argus.
Sanet had just returned from a holiday in Thailand and had met with friends for a night out to celebrate.
She very nearly didn’t make it home.
Sanet decided to catch a taxicab from the nightclub.
The taxicab she had hailed was occupied by two men – a driver and passenger.
De Lange said: “She got into the taxi, realising she didn’t have money. She offered to pay the driver when she got home. Then the two men started quarrelling and she remembers getting scared.”
Sanet wasn’t sure whether it was at a traffic light or a four-way stop, but when the car came to a halt, she tried to jump out.
It was then that they attacked her.
“She managed to slip away and cover herself in leaves. She was soaking wet when she was found. At the hospital they thought she had been in an accident because she was covered in all these leaves and twigs.”
Sanet sustained a gash to her temple and had to have scans done to check for damage to her head and neck.
Following an examination by a gynaecologist, it was determined that she had not been raped. After spending one night in hospital, she is recovering at home.
Sanet struggles to eat, and will soon undergo trauma counselling.
Her mother now wants justice.
De Lange was upset that her daughter’s friends allowed her to leave alone.
The incident took place a kilometre away from the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Claremont where the group had been partying earlier that night.
Her mom wants the men responsible for the attack to be brought to book. “We are trying to get hold of the CCTV footage and get the guys. She was wearing a bright red jacket so she should be easy to spot on the footage.”
De Lange said taxicabs should be a safe and responsible way to get home from a night out.
“She should be able to take cabs and feel safe. She took cabs in Thailand and it was a natural thing. She said she felt safe.”
The City of Cape Town’s mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said incidents like this happened because of unscrupulous cab operators who conducted business outside the law.
“You wouldn’t get into a stranger’s car and you wouldn’t get into a strange taxi.
“We say members of the public should use a reputable taxi company and not a random taxi where you don’t know if the driver is a decent person.”
Smith said the city runs regular operations to clamp down on unlicensed cab operators, in a bid to avoid similar incidents.
“Rather take a proper cab that you have called and not one that is loitering around outside a nightclub.”
Sanet was found by patrolling police officers.
Police spokesman Thembinkosi Kinana said his office had heard of the complaint and advised “the complainant to approach the Wynberg Station Commander’s office in order to have the matter investigated”.