Bruised But Not Broken
Drum English|14 November 2019
Veteran actress Abigail Kubeka opens up about the morning a taxi driver beat her up
Khosi Biyela

HER heart sank as she heard the sickening scrape of metal on metal: a taxi had forced its way past her car in the slow crawl of the bumper-to-bumper morning traffic.

Abigail Kubeka (79) sighed and wondered how much time she was going to lose getting to work at the SABC studios in Auckland Park. Her window was open, as the weather was pleasant that October morning when the taxi screeched to a halt in front of her and the driver got out.

The Generations: The Legacy actress adjusted her oversized sunglasses and waited for the man to come over and apologize. “The taxi was driving on the pavement when it scratched my car. So, I know I wasn’t in the wrong.”

They would exchange details, she thought, and she would continue the slow 35-minute trek from Orlando West on to the M70, the Soweto Highway, to Auckland Park.

Then she realized the driver, a man in his 20s, was moving quickly “and aggressively” towards her, swearing loudly and accusing her of damaging his vehicle.

“I said to him, ‘Hey, but you’re the one who scratched my car’.”

Without warning, the young man began punching the grandmother in the face. “Can you imagine it? Me with my big sunglasses. It’s funny that my glasses didn’t break . . .” she says, her voice trailing off.

Caught in a flurry of punches, Mam’ Abigail managed to push herself over to the passenger seat of her car, she recalls. “It was like he was fighting a man of his age. I hadn’t even been rude to him. I asked him: ‘Why are you beating me up?’”

The cruel beating ended when other motorists came to her rescue, pulled the taxi driver from her car and restrained him. Bewildered by what had happened to her, the actress said she just sat there.

“I was all confused because I wasn’t expecting any violence at all. I was expecting he would come over and we would just exchange contact details.”

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