Tensions around the ongoing Uber strike in Cape Town reached breaking point on Thursday evening when an Uber driver and passenger fell victim to hijackers.

The strike began when the ride-sharing app announced that it would be dropping its per-kilometre rates by 20% from R7/km to R6/km.

Drivers, who take a portion of the rider’s fare, were understandably upset by the announcement with many fearing that the amount they earn per ride would decrease drastically.

On Thursday night, in the midst of the strike, Times Media Group Digital Editor, Andrew Trench requested a ride using the app from Cape Town International Airport.

According a report on Times Live, as the Uber driver and Trench were leaving the airport, three men surrounded the car before ordering Trench to leave the car.

Once Trench had exited the vehicle the unknown men entered the vehicle and drove off with the driver. The Times editor then alerted the police and then using the app, alerted the firm.

“It’s definitely like an Uber thing, it wasn’t like a normal hijacking,” Trench told Times Live referring to intimidation of drivers by other taxi services in the past.

Samantha Allenberg, an Uber spokesperson responded to the incident saying, “the threats and intimidation against people who want to use the Uber platform is unacceptable.”

At this stage it is unclear who is responsible for the hijacking but the firm has said that since the incident the driver was located, is safe and they are working with police to find the hijackers.

We do urge our readers in Cape Town whether they be drivers or riders to be safe during the on-going strike.

[Via – Times Live]


Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.