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By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor

Bolt enhances safety after ex-driver’s conviction for preying on riders

Bolt amps up security features in the wake of ex-driver's life terms.

In light of the two life imprisonment terms served on ex-Bolt driver Emmanuel Mudau, who preyed on women requesting transport in 2022, Bolt has introduced new safety features.

On Friday, the High Court in Johannesburg sentenced the 30-year-old former Bolt driver who preyed on women who used the app to seek transport from Cosmo City, Johannesburg, to other locations between January 2022 and February 2022.

Mudau was sentenced to two life imprisonment terms and 60 years for rape, kidnapping, and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Mudau preyed on riders in remote locations

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mudau transported riders to remote locations where he told them to undress and raped them as soon as they got into his car.

In two separate incidents, two complainants tried to run away, but one was stabbed and the other was strangled in order to succumb to his demands.

ALSO READ: E-hailing horror: Bolt driver gets life for predatory crimes

In response to Mudau’s conviction, Bolt commended the police and justice system for their efforts in securing a conviction.

“Throughout the investigation, Bolt cooperated fully with law enforcement authorities, providing all necessary information and assistance to aid in the successful arrest and prosecution of the suspect,” Bolt spokesperson Mahlodi Molekane said.

The e-hailing company added that it condemned any form of abuse or violence against women.

“Bolt has a zero-tolerance policy towards drivers who engage in misconduct or criminal behaviour. Our platform has no place for individuals who perpetrate such heinous acts.”

Safety features

In an effort to enhance rider safety, the company said it has implemented various new safety features. These features include:

  • Giving drivers and riders access to an emergency response service in the app through a partnership with the Automobile Association (AA). When this service is activated, private security and emergency services are sent, and the driver/rider’s details and location are shared with AA’s 24/7 contact centre.
  • In order to provide a solution in cases when they might feel unsafe while travelling, drivers and riders can start an audio recording of their journey through the Bolt app and submit the recorded audio to Bolt’s customer support team.
  • Bolt will now be able to automatically engage with drivers and passengers in-app when a vehicle is stationary for too long.
  • The company introduced a driver selfie verification feature to avoid driver impersonation.

ALSO READ: Eastern Cape man sentenced to life for raping 84-year-old granny

“These safety measures empower riders to feel confident and secure when using the Bolt app, knowing their safety is our top priority,” the company added.

The NPA commended the commitment from State Advocate Coleen Ryan and the investigating officer, Sergeant France Mokwai, for their efforts in delivering justice.

‘Thoughts are with complainants and their families’

“As we reflect on this outcome, our thoughts are with the complainants and their families. They suffered immeasurable pain, and the memory of this ordeal will remain irked in their minds for a lifetime,” NPA regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said.

“We, however, hope that they find solace in that the perpetrator has been removed from society.”

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assault bolt Courts and Crime kidnapping Rape safety