South African bolt driver accused of multiple rape

South African bolt driver accused of multiple rape

A suspended Bolt driver accused of rape is expected to face more charges after more complainants came forward, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed on Tuesday.

Bolt driver accused of rape

The 25-year-old male suspect – who can not be named at this stage – made a brief appearance before the Randburg Magistrate’s Court following his arrest last month on charges of kidnapping, rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The NPA’s regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said four more charges of rape were expected to be added to his charge sheet after two more complainants came forward.

“We can confirm, as the NPA, that two more complainants came forward, and therefore we anticipate four more charges to be added to the current charge sheet,” Mjonondwane said, speaking to the media outside court.

Charges

The man currently faces two counts of rape, two of kidnapping and two of robbery.

Mjonondwane said the charges would increase to 10 counts when the kidnapping and rape charges are added to his charge sheet.

During his court appearance on Tuesday, the State revealed preliminary information on his citizenship and residential address in preparation for his bail application.

However, the investigating officer still has to verify the information with the Department of Home Affairs.

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Mjonondwane said the State would oppose his bail application.

“The State will be opposing his release on bail, we will advance our reasons in court, but the accused faces charges of a serious nature. And we are duty-bound as the NPA to ensure the protection of our women and children,” she said.

The matter is expected to resume on 15 March.

Online petition against Bolt

The story about the arrested Bolt driver drew a lot of attention on social media last week after a woman on Friday took to Twitter detailing her friend’s horrific ordeal of being sexually assaulted, allegedly by a Bolt driver.

This led to several other personal accounts by female passengers of alleged incidents of sexual assault at the hands of Bolt drivers.

bolt driver demo
Supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) demonstrate outside the Randburg Magistrates Court against gender-based violence, 8 March 2022, as a Bolt e-hailing driver accused of raping four women appears. Picture: Michel Bega

An online petition against Bolt was since established and circulated on social media, demanding that the e-hailing service improves the vetting of its drivers.

The petition has garnered over 100 000 signatures and counting.

Bolt said the driver would only be reinstated on the platform if he is fully exonerated by the courts.

Meanwhile, the EFF’s deputy secretary-general Poppy Mailola and a group of party supporters on Tuesday protested outside the Randburg Magistrate’s Court against the driver accused of sexual assault.

bolt driver demo
Supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) demonstrate outside the Randburg Magistrates Court against gender-based violence, 8 March 2022, as a Bolt e-hailing driver accused of raping four women appears. Picture: Michel Bega

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe.

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