Cape Town - The hero taxi driver who was fined R6 000 for saving a girl’s life is a reformed convict who is also helping children at risk by giving them horse therapy.
Jack Arthur Williams, 41, of Mitchells Plain, was pulled over by traffic cops for driving on the shoulder of the road while rushing a 14-year-old girl and her mom to Red Cross Children’s Hospital after she suffered several epileptic seizures.
In 1999, the father-of-six was convicted and jailed for 15 years for armed robbery. Four years ago, when he was released, he decided it was time to change.
Today, Jack is the owner of 10 horses, two pigs and eight dogs on a smallholding in Schaapkraal, Philippi.
Here, he gives vulnerable and traumatised kids free horse-riding lessons.
“These are the children who just need that extra attention and patience,” he says.
“I was in prison for armed robbery and it was because of the support of my family I could change.
“These children would tell me their father is in prison or their mother is on drugs and you would find them standing on the streets.
“I invite them to the farm where they have a one-on-one session and attention and being around the animals is healthy.
“It’s like a form of therapy for them where they can just be children.”
Once a week, Jack takes the kids to beaches like Blue Waters and Muizenberg for horse rides and also treats them to horse shows and camping.
“I am renting space on a smallholding in Schaapkraal and the children are allowed to feed the animals and ride them and every Sunday we take horse rides to the beach,” he says.
“We take the children as far as Greyton and Swellendam where the horse shows are and they go camping.
“Often these children cannot read or write their own names. I am not a teacher, but I make sure they get exposed to books.”
Jack, who runs a fleet of taxis for his dad, says he wants to open a children’s home with government help.
“I want a place where children can be children. Where they can live on the same premises where the animals are. We need land in Mitchells Plain for this.”
Jack is due to appear in the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court in November where he hopes his fine will be scrapped.