We all know that enough is enough when it comes to taxi's on the South African roads... but it's only when something comes close to home that we get shocked awake. A fellow cyclist and friend was plowed through by a taxi two weeks ago, he survived, in much pain, and has been in hospital for two weeks. He was riding on the side of the road in Sunninghill on the road that borders Leeukop Prison and the Seventh Day Adv. church. This is his story: He heard the taxi behind him hooting, so he climbed off his road bike and started moving off the road when he was struck. The rest of the story was told to him by an eye witness because he only came to about 30 minutes later. The taxi stopped a few hundred metres down the road because he was dragging the bicycle. He climbed out, removed the bike and started walking back to my friend. He then saw that another car had stopped to help, turned, ran back to his taxi and sped off.
FG (my friend) came to when the people who stopped started helping him up to take him to hospital. He had a severe concussion because his helmet's strap had snapped and he had a full blow to the head when he hit the ground. He had also lost most of his front teeth. He's alive, and I thank God for that, but I am filled with an anger at this injustice. Because no one saw the driver, or got the license plate, the police discouraged him from opening a case.
It's as if taxi drivers (the guilty ones I'm referring to) see themselves as freedom fighters, using their taxi's as weapons, carrying weapons too in some cases. Taking on even cops if they get too authoritarian. And it's not getting any better. Doing nothing doesn't make it go away. I really don't know what the answer is, how do you get people to grow a conscience?
So, while our government is working very hard at the task of clamping down on smokers and people who discipline their children... it seems it's up to the minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to face up to the reality of crime in our nation, all while taxi drivers rampantly plow down the innocent. Something is wrong people, something is very wrong.