When you mix booze, youngsters and Claremont things often end in trouble, but you can’t help but feel sorry for 22-year-old UCT student Samuel.
The young man is still so shaken by the attack, which took place in the early hours of Friday morning, that he doesn’t want to use his full name.
The night out started innocuously enough, the civil engineering student joining co-workers from his part-time pizza parlour job for a few drinks.
“I don’t usually go to Claremont, but the guys wanted to go out because we don’t usually socialise as colleagues,” said Samuel.
They all had drinks, and at the end of the night headed home separately.
He would usually use a taxi hailing service, but by the end of the night the battery on his phone was dead and he had no choice but to use the metered taxis parked in Claremont Main Road, near the bars and clubs.
Samuel got into a taxi and saw a meter on the dashboard.
“As we were driving he told me it would cost me R300. I argued with him, saying I would not pay it because the trip from Claremont to my house in Fairways never cost more than R100.
“I told him his demand for R300 was ridiculous and that I would not pay,” said Samuel.
Samuel estimates about 800 metres from his home, the cab driver stopped.
“I didn’t say anything. He pulled open the front passenger door where I was seated and dragged me out, punching and kicking me,” said Samuel.
He passed out, and when he eventually woke he says he was bloodied and in pain and walked the rest of the way home.
I’ve had similar issues with metered taxis, who often assume that because you’re a few drinks in you’ve lost all sense of what an acceptable fee is.
Samuel has since opened a case at the Grassy Park police station, and although the police say the suspects have been identified they are yet to make an arrest.
I guess we can learn two things from this: one, agree on a price before you hop in a taxi. Two, and this is the one that you’ll most want to heed, just catch an Uber.
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