Durban - The Uber driver who was allegedly assaulted by bodyguards who work for Durban businessman Sibusiso Mpisane claims his alleged attackers are searching for him.
Two fellow Uber drivers on Monday alleged they were approached by men in vehicles “with flashing lights” asking where to find him.
Last week, The Mercury reported that the 26-year-old man was living in fear after being assaulted on uMhlanga Rocks Drive by two well-dressed armed men who were driving a vehicle registered in Mpisane’s name. This was apparently a road-rage incident.
A video of the incident shows two men with pistols on their hips hitting a lone driver as he sits in a white Toyota.
Mpisane, when approached for comment, said he would investigate the matter and that he did not condone such behaviour.
The man, who has not been back to work since the incident last Monday, said he felt let down by police who were “taking long” to make arrests despite the high-profile ties the alleged attackers have.
Police said on Monday they were conducting a “thorough investigation” before making arrests.
The motive behind the assault remains unclear.
A fellow Uber driver, who would not be named out of fear of reprisals, said he had been followed last week by an “ND car with flashing lights”, which had then approached him when he stopped in town.
He was asked where the victim of the attack was, but did not answer.
Another colleague said a group of Uber drivers who regularly park on uMhlanga Rocks Drive when awaiting clients were approached by two men in a vehicle asking if they had seen the white Toyota Corolla which the man drives.
He identified the car as a silver-grey BMW X5 with the same registration as the vehicle involved in the road-rage incident.
“They kept driving up and down uMhlanga Rocks Drive, so that’s when I told him (the man in the earlier incident) they were looking for him,” he said.
Mpisane did not answer phone calls or respond to SMSes on Monday.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said police were still busy identifying the alleged assailants.
“Those people (the attackers) are facing the other side (of the camera in the video) so police have to investigate to get the identity.”
She said the man would not have a good case if the police rushed the process.
“The case is still under investigation, arrests are imminent,” she said.
She declined to comment when asked about the man’s claim that he was being sought by the alleged attackers.
She would not comment as to whether the police had had any contact with Mpisane.
KwaZulu-Natal violence monitor Mary de Haas said she was “not surprised” that no arrests had been made despite the high-profile nature of the case.
“Police are slow to act against well-connected people,” she said.
“The case has publicity, and is in the public interest, there needs to be an explanation why no arrests have been made.”
Howard Dembovsky, of Justice Project South Africa, said the vehicle had “no authority” to have flashing lights.
“If it was a security vehicle, it needs to have a light lamp on the roof of the car, the word security’ clearly shown, and the name of the security company.”
Dembovsky, meanwhile, added that there was “nothing irregular” about police not immediately making arrests for charges of common assault.