Anele Mdoda took e-hailing giant Bolt to task after a driver allegedly raped a client last week.
The radio host and TV presenter has been persistent with the issue for a week after it came to light on a person’s Twitter post that a Bolt driver allegedly raped their friend.
Twitter user @Luluthebearr wrote: “A Bolt driver raped my friend last night, he strangled her half to death and took her virginity. Bolt doesn’t care about our safety, their Instagram page is filled with people complaining about assault and they have done nothing about it”. Luluma then shared a picture of the Bolt driver in their post.
The tweet went viral with many people sharing their horror stories from using the e-hailing app and urged people to uninstall it. Anele shared many of these accounts of alleged sexual assaults, attempted kidnappings, and car accidents from alleged Bolt drivers on her Twitter page.
She asked several questions, such as, who owned Bolt which was formerly known as Taxify, as she sought accountability for the alleged rape.
Bolt, aware of the comments and messages from worried customers, responded on Twitter by saying the incident was under investigation and that they are assisting the police with information.
The driver was suspended on the platform.
Because of the sheer volume of questions and complaints Anele received for inquiring about Bolt, including why they rarely respond to concerned customers, she decided to take the issue on air.
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Anele asked if she could talk to the Bolt CEO on the various issues brought to her. Bolt seemed to agree, however a representative from Bolt Africa, public relations manager Nthabiseng Mokoena sent a response to Anele who read it out on her radio morning show, Anele and the club, on Tuesday.
The station posted the video on Instagram. Anele was clearly aggrieved and said incidents by Bolt drivers are reported every week on social media platforms and nothing is done about it.
Mokoena’s statement read: “Bolt has genuinely been agonised by the many issues that have transpired and we are not thrilled by the fact that people perceive that our services are established to violate their sense of safety or their freedom to move entrenched in our constitution. I am a black woman in South Africa and I know what it means to either be physically or verbally violated…
“We would like to reiterate that safety on our platform and that Bolt condemns any violence, intimidation or extortion directed towards passengers,” Mokoena concluded.
Anele and her co-host Frankie Du Toit were not impressed with the statement and said the company took no responsibility for what happened to their customers.
Frankie said their investigation into Bolt has also led them to allegations of Bolt drivers who rent other people’s profiles to use the app. Anele added that the stories are “harrowing”, which included men following women in airports and intimated customers.
“Bolt you have to do better,” Anele concluded.