Ricochet News

Carelessness by driving instructor nearly costs PE woman

By Afikile Lugunya - Jul 25, 2017
Carelessness by driving instructor nearly costs PE woman

For 21-year-old Port Elizabeth resident, Anelisa Luvuno, Monday will be a day she will not easily forget for some time to come after she escaped a daylight mugging while waiting for her turn to learn driving with Kido Driving School.

The driving school has strict instructions of where they pick up their learner drivers - at Kenako Mall and at New Brighton Police Station, and where they drop them to wait for their instructors - by the Jasmyn Flats at Algoa Park.

“We were picked up from Kenako Mall as usual and taken to the flats at Algoa park where we usually take our driving lessons," described a shaken Luvuno.

“There were three girls and one guy standing by the flats when we got there. Three learners had already finished with their driving lessons so an instructor took one learner, who arrived there before me, and I was the only one left, who was still to do a lesson.

“While we were standing there, Gift (the other driving instructor) came and asked for a person, who wanted to take the next driving lesson, I went towards his car. Using his hand gestures, he told me to back away from his car.

“Then he loudly asked if there was no other person wanting to drive besides me - I was the only one. He then said all those, who wanted to go to Kenako Mall to be dropped off must get in the car, so everyone went except for me because I still needed to do my lesson."

She said while she was waiting there alone, two guys came and she could see they were coming straight for her.

“The other one asked why was I standing there and what was in my bag, I kept quiet and held my bag tight. That was when he tried to snatch it off my hands, but I used all my strength and held onto the bag," Luvuno described.

“The other one shouted at his companion to stab me so that I let go of the bag. That’s when I started screaming loudly and they eventually let go of me and ran away.

“I called my usual instructor and I asked where he was, crying and he told me that he was coming. After a few minutes, he came with another instructor and they got me in the car.”

They later managed to calm her down and proceeded with the driving lesson before taking her to to the drop off point at Kenako Mall.

RNEWS asked Gift why he left her there alone instead of taking her for the lesson as the other four students would have been safer there than a young woman standing all alone. He refused to comment and could only shout at your correspondent.

RNEWS talked to Makhaya Kido Lestwalo, the owner of the driving school, who accepted that they had not prioritised the safety of the learners but said they will come up with a plan urgently to ensure their learners are safe at all times.

“I will call the girl and apologise for what happened to her and I understand that my employee was wrong to leave her there all alone.

“I always tell my drivers to be careful not to leave less than three people at the Algoa flats because it’s dangerous there, at least they can have 6-8 people for safety. You cannot leave only three people there,” Letswalo said.

Still, some of the school's learners claim that Lestwalo never takes his leaners' reports about bad instructors seriously and doesn’t protect their names - he denied the allegations.

“I deal with those that are complained about accordingly and I always tell them the customers have a right to complain and that they must not treat them badly after complaining,” Letswalo described.

RNEWS also spoke to the Motherwell cluster police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge, who advised woman on what they can do to protect themselves on the streets.

“Young women walking in the streets must at all times be aware of their surroundings. They must take precaution and must always try by all means to never walk with valuables in such a way that they are visible to others - that will make them targets," he said.

“Young women must also always make sure that when they are in unfamiliar surroundings, they are accompanied by trusted persons.”