HE HAD stolen once before and was burned with boiling water because of it, so Siphosethu Bucwa (19) changed his ways.
But his criminal past stuck to him . . .
And when the cellphone of the taxi driver he was collecting fares for went missing over the weekend, everyone accused Sipho-sethu of stealing it!
He claims he begged his accusers to track the missing phone with its tracking app, but they allegedly refused and assaulted him instead. However, his suffering wasn’t over yet.
Later that same day, after the beating, Siphosethu, from KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage, was invited to a tavern by the driver. Then an unknown man arrived and allegedly poured boiling water all over him!
“I cried as other patrons looked on. I was rushed to Laetitia Bam Day Hospital where I was treated for burn injuries,” said Sipho-sethu.
“I was doing my job on Saturday at the taxi rank at Uitenhage terminus when my driver complained about his missing cellphone.
“I told him another guy had come to sit in his taxi while he was sleeping. Another man arrived and sat with us.
“They left after chatting for a while. My driver then woke up and said his phone was missing.
“We looked for it and phoned it but it was on voicemail.
“It was a smartphone with a tracker,” he said.
But the taximen allegedly said: once a thief, always a thief.
“The driver’s dad arrived with other drivers to search for the phone, but soon started kicking and punching me. They said I knew where the phone was, but when I asked them to use the tracker and search for it to prove my innocence, they simply refused and continued beating me, while my driver watched.
“Yes, I had stolen a phone before but this time I was innocent. As soon as I feel better I’m going to lay charges against the men who assaulted me.”
Police spokeswoman Gerda Swart advised Sipho to open a criminal case at his nearest cop shop.