Young woman jumps out of moving Uber during ‘kidnapping’

Scarred: Young woman’s injuries. Picture: supplied

Scarred: Young woman’s injuries. Picture: supplied

Published Jun 14, 2024


Cape Town - A 19-year-old who jumped out of a moving Uber when the driver allegedly deviated from the route, says she thankfully shared her live location with her father and friend, who later fetched her along the N7.

The student, whose name is being withheld to avoid victimisation, said she panicked when the driver missed the turn-off to Voortrekker Road that was supposed to take her to Bellville on Saturday evening.

When she got into the car, she sent her live location to her father in the Eastern Cape and friend, whom she was with at GrandWest Casino earlier in the day.

“I was with my friend but when the Uber driver collected me at 6.47pm, she left with her aunt. I sent her and my dad the live location and the details of the Uber.

“When I got in the car the driver was playing music and was very vibrant. We left GrandWest and he asked if I didn’t mind the music because he was enjoying it.

“I noticed that he spoke Zulu, the GPS was loud enough through the music. As he drove on Jakes Gerwel Drive, the GPS told him to turn right on Voortrekker Road, but he continued driving, so I asked him why he passed it.”

She explained that she panicked and her father checked up on her as they drove.

“My dad called me immediately after we passed the road. I noticed that the driver was looking at my phone when my dad called and he was suddenly angry.

“I’m not familiar with Cape Town but I knew that Voortrekker was going to take us to where I live. We were on the freeway and I saw that there was a board that had ‘Paarl’ written on it.

“He turned to it and I asked him to drive slower. I told him my dad was going to pick me up, the speed was a bit slower and I jumped out while I was still on the phone with my dad.

“He hung around for a while and then he drove away and he then cancelled the trip. My friend who was with her aunt, came to fetch me.

“I told her that the driver was trying to kidnap me. I was on the N7 at the time when they came to me.”

Bellville Community Policing Forum (BCPF) chairperson Emre Uygun confirmed the 19-year- old student narrowly escaped the kidnapping attempt on June 8, after hailing an Uber to her Boston, Bellville residence.

“Although she suffered an injury on her left leg, she managed to escape by jumping out of the vehicle when the driver failed to drop her off at her requested location.

“The BCPF chairperson visited the victim to offer support and assisted her in reporting the incident to Bellville SAPS, where a case is currently under investigation. Regrettably, the victim’s attempts to contact Uber for assistance after the incident were met with inadequate response,” Uygun said.

An Uber spokesperson said safety is a critically important issue for them.

“What has been described is very concerning and in the event of any incidents reported on a trip, we investigate immediately and take appropriate action in line with our Community Guidelines.

“We are looking into this incident to see whether it took place on our platform.

“Uber aims to always have riders feel safe on every trip. We encourage riders to use safety features like Audio Recording and the in-app emergency button to call for assistance and access to emergency services if needed, directly from the app.”

Police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said Goodwood SAPS is investigating.

“An attempted kidnapping case was registered at Bellville SAPS for investigation, following an incident involving a 19-year-old female student.

“The case was transferred to Goodwood SAPS for further investigation.

“Anyone with any information about this incident is kindly requested to contact Crime Stop at 08600 10111,” said Twigg.