Johannesburg – A sting by police and private investigators has led to the arrest of a driver of a taxi hailing app who allegedly drugged and raped a female passenger during the early hours of New Year’s Day.
His alleged victim had ordered the taxi for a ride home to Norkem Park on the East Rand after seeing in the New Year.
According to a source close to the investigation, during the ride home the woman requested that the driver stop so she could buy something to eat.
“She thinks that he put something in the Savanna (cider) she was drinking, because she said she felt dizzy and then fell asleep in the car,” said the source who did not want to be identified.
The man then allegedly took a detour to Vusumuzi informal settlement, near Tembisa.
Later, police would discover that during the ride, the driver phoned a friend to ask if he could bring the woman to his place.
There in a shack, between 3am and 4am on New Year’s Day, the man allegedly raped the woman twice.
“The lady was able to send a location pin through WhatsApp, to her friend. Police were able to use this to find the scene of crime,” said the source.
Following the alleged rape, the driver then drove the woman to her home. There he allegedly threatened her, saying he would kill her if she reported the rape to the police.
But the woman did report the rape and was taken to hospital, where she was treated.
The following day the rape survivor hired private investigator Wendy Pascoe, who with fellow investigating company Dikgomo Forensics were tasked with tracking down the alleged perpetrator.
“He was easy to track down. We got a full address for him,” said Pascoe.
The PIs were able to get a cellphone number for the alleged rapist. With this, police decided they would set a sting to lure him to them.
The suspect was phoned on Thursday night and was asked if he could pick someone up in Klipfontein, in Midrand. The taxi driver arrived in the same car that it’s alleged he picked his victim up in.
“When he was arrested, he was quite surprised,” said the source.
He didn’t resist arrest.
Pascoe was surprised that the man committed the crime, as the hailing service’s cars have tracking devices and using the app would leave a trace that would be easy to track.
“It was a huge risk he took, maybe he thought he was going to get away with it by threatening her. But obviously that didn’t work.”
The driver is due to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of rape.
Attempts to obtain comment from the taxi hailing company were unsuccessful, hence the Saturday Star decided not to identify it.