A Durban woman seen assaulting a minibus taxi driver in Umhlanga after a car crash, was rewarded with chocolate and coke by office park staff who witnessed her fight a taxi driver with her bare hands.
The manner in which most minibus taxi drivers drive on South African roads is a cause for frustration for thousands daily, and on Tuesday morning just after 9am, this Durban woman got her opportunity to act out against most South Africans daily frustrations with the feared taxi drivers.
A short video clip of the woman motorist, Thuso Khumalo, who is a project manager for an interior design company in Durban, went viral when she was captured by cellphone cameras beating the minibus taxi driver.
She is seen kicking and hitting the minibus taxi driver while entertained Umhlanga office workers encourage her to “hit him”.
Khumalo told IOL News on Wednesday that she was enraged that the minibus taxi driver had, at great speed and without any apparent reason, collided with her car while she was travelling with her mother.
“He came out of nowhere, he was driving so fast that he didn’t even have time to react. I tried to accelerate out of the way because the traffic lights were down and he hit me on the side that my mother was seated,” she said.
Khumalo said her car ended up on the pavement and the thought of how her mother could have been badly injured or killed so needlessly enraged her and she reacted, kicking and hitting the minibus taxi driver who did not retaliate.
“Taxi drivers do frustrate us everyday, but we live with it and we kind of understand, but this was so extreme for me because his taxi was empty, it was just after 9am, where was he rushing to so much that he almost killed us,” she said.
Khumalo said she was still awaiting a full damage report from her insurer, but said the car’s vehicle chassis had been badly damaged.
This is totally wrong pic.twitter.com/eadKm0TAiw— Mlambo (@Lwadz_G) December 6, 2023
Khumalo said she was fine, but was on anti-anxiety medication to deal with the incident, while her mother was a little bruised up, but she was monitoring her situation.
Asked what she had to say to people who are reacting that she should not have hit the man, she said: “They are right, I probably shouldn’t have hit him at all, but there was nothing that warranted him driving at that speed in an area where the traffic lights were not working, he just came out of nowhere,” she said.
Post Accident Tweet
Before social media caught wind of the video on Wednesday, Khumalo actually tweeted about her accident.
“Started my day with beating up a taxi driver. I'm high on adrenaline right now”.
Started my day with beating up a taxi driver.— ThatMomOutThere (@thusthus12) December 5, 2023
I'm high on adrenaline right now
This was followed up with other tweets which said a minibus taxi rank marshall had tried to threaten the woman.
“I told them to f*** off because if it was their mother in the car they would have shot them. That guy nearly killed us,” the woman exclaimed.
“The staff from the offices sent down coke and chocolate for me and applauded from the balcony.
“I could hear people saying "mshaye, mshaye" (hit him, hit him). I think we're all tired of taxis bullying us,” she said.
Reaction to the video has been mixed, with some applauding the woman for fighting, while some have expressed that she should not have laid her hands on the minibus taxi driver.
“Much respect to him for not fighting back because we all know it’s not like he can’t,” said Khanyie Langa.
Much respect to him for not fighting back coz we all know it’s not like he can’t. https://t.co/O1XoKuxexr— KhanyieLanga McBird (@khanyieMcBird) December 6, 2023
“I’m so glad she lived to tell the tale, beating up a taxi driver could have gone a very, very different way,” said a user named Zinhle on X.
I’m so glad she lived to tell the tale, beating up a taxi driver could have gone a very, very different way.— Zinhle (@blythlie) December 6, 2023
“He's a gentleman. Retaliation would have ended very bad,” said another named Bra Thibos.
He's a gentleman. Retaliation would have ended very bad— Bra Thibos (@ThibosAfrika) December 6, 2023
“A man being abused is praised for being a gentleman. No one is condemning the conduct of the lady, but praising the gentlemaness for tolerating abuse. Yooh,” said an Ademola.
A man being abused is praised for being a gentleman. No one is condemning the conduct of the lady, but praising the gentlemaness for tolerating abuse. Yooh! https://t.co/QTswFKHJCg— ADEMOLA (@Afrixion) December 6, 2023
“The girl is wrong for reacting this way, but most taxi drivers are selfish & don't want to be patient. It's so frustrating getting knocked out. This once happened to me by the Durban market robot,” said a Sihle.
The girl is wrong for reacting this way, but most taxi drivers are selfish & don't want to be patient. Yazi, it's so frustrating getting knocked out. This once happened to me by the Durban market robot. https://t.co/dgmhk0vjdO— Sihle; (@Siphe_Gumede_) December 6, 2023