Woman almost abducted by fake Bolt driver
Nombuso Asanda Dlamini
23-year old female was almost abducted as an unknown man posed as Bolt driver in Morningside, Durban.
Khuselwa Mahlobo was on her way to work on Thursday evening when she requested Bolt (Taxify) only for her to end up in an abductor’s car.
Bolt offers vehicles for hire, micro mobility and food services. A Bolt vehicle is requested via an app in which the user gets the details of the vehicle which will be transporting them including the name of the driver, vehicle model and number plate.
“I requested for Bolt and then waited outside my apartment for the car. However, a car with a different number plate came. The driver lowered his window and asked if I was waiting for him. I replied that I was waiting for Bolt and read out the number plate to him. He told me that he was using a different car because he had taken the car he is registered with for repairs, said Mahlobo.
Khuselwa says that she was hesitant to enter the car, but she was rushing to work so she decided to get in. A few minutes into the ride, Mahlobo got a call from a Bolt driver asking her where she was.
“That was when I realised that I was in the wrong car,” she said. Mahlobo asked the driver where they were going but was told to keep quiet and the driver drove towards Glenwood. “He kept on swearing at me and told me that he was going to treat me nicely, I tried opening the door, but it was locked. It was only when we got to the robots that I managed to break the window using my shoe and scream for help,” she said
Seeing that Mahlobo was attracting attention for him, he quickly unlocked the doors and told her to get off.
Mahlobo encourages woman to be extra-vigilant when it comes to Bolt/Uber. “Always make sure that the number plate and car model matches the one in your app, if does not match do not enter,” she said.
Sanele Khoza, a Bolt driver says he tries by all means to ensure safety of women. “I always wait to check if the female I am driving is safe after I drop them off at their destination before I drive off. I know the world is cruel so I advice females to take a screenshot of the drivers details and send them to their loved ones just in-case something unfortunate happens, “he said.
Another female Bolt user Mbalenhle Njapha suggested that an app be created which will only transport females and be driven by females only. “Men take advantage of us. We are not as strong as them, we cannot fight them so they take advantage of that.
“My brother is a Bolt driver, instead of requesting I just phone him and tell him to take me to where I want to go, ” said Zinhle Kheswa a female Bolt user.
Kheswa advices that women should always be cautious around Bolt and at least have numbers of their trusted Bolt drivers and call them if they want to go somewhere instead of requesting via the app.