A friend of local rapper Jack Parow was stabbed in the face, allegedly by a taxi driver, for hailing an Uber over the weekend.
On Monday Parow, whose real name is Zander Tyler, said on Twitter: “Ysterday my chom @DirkAgenbag ordered an @Uber_RSA whle waiting a taxi driver stabbed him! Wht does uber do? Tells him to get out of the uber1 [sic].”
Agenbag was not immediately available to comment, however Parow told News24 that Agenbag had sent a message to a group of friends informing them that he had been attacked in Melville, Johannesburg over the weekend.
“I am not sure whether it happened on Saturday or Sunday during the day but basically an Uber came and while he was getting inside the Uber, a taxi driver came from nowhere, stabbed him in the face and then casually walked away.
“The Uber driver told him to get out of the Uber because he was bleeding.”
Parow said Agenbag’s girlfriend’s father rushed to the scene and took him to the hospital.
“He was accosted by a taxi driver, who else would do that? If it was a robbery then why did they stab him and walk away?”
The musician said he believed that Agenbag had become a victim of the ongoing violence between metered taxi drivers and Uber.
Parow said he was almost a victim last month, when a taxi driver threatened him with a panga in Sandton.
“I think people should stop taking metered taxis until something is done. It is sad that it has come to this.”
He said Uber should take disciplinary action against the driver who asked Agenbag to get out of the vehicle.
“Even though Uber is not responsible for the attacks, they are wrong for not taking action, they are a big company. How do you kick someone out of the car with a bleeding face? I hope the driver gets fired and that he is made accountable for the situation. It was such a brutal incident.”
“People are going to start travelling with weapons”
Parow said he was still shaken by the incident.
“I think South Africans need to come together and take a stand against this because people are not safe… it could be you or a member of your family. The government and the police need to do something urgently otherwise people are going to start travelling with weapons to protect themselves,” he said.
Uber spokesperson Samantha Allenberg said the company was aware of the incident and had set up a meeting with the driver on Monday.
“It’s deeply upsetting and unacceptable that some taxi drivers think they can limit consumer choice with such violence. This is a distressing situation that needs thorough investigation.”
Allenberg said the company’s incident response team were reaching out to all parties and will be providing necessary support, including assisting the police with their investigation.
“We are deeply committed to the safety of all who use the Uber app. We are doing all we can to assist in preventing incidents and provide assistance to driver-partners and riders, but government and authorities must now step in and take a stronger stand to end this violence.”
Police had not yet responded to requests for comment.