‘Racist’ Uber driver ditches couple
‘He asked me if my fiancée was still a Muslim’
A FAIRWAYS couple were left enraged after being told by their Uber driver that it was wrong for a Muslim woman to be in a relationship with a Christian man.
The incident happened around 5pm on Friday when Christopher Parker was left alone with the driver while his fiancée – whose name is known to The Star but is being withheld to protect her privacy – went into a shop on Rosmead Avenue, Claremont.
“He interrogated me and asked if my fiancée was still a Muslim,” said Parker. He said he told the driver: “It is none of your business, it is personal information.
“He then told me that it is not on for me to be in a relationship with her.
“I take it because he saw I had a visible crucifix tattoo on my arm that he gathered I was Christian, and my fiancée, who booked the service, has a Muslim name,” Parker said.
The altercation continued and he explained to the driver that his partner’s mother was a Christian who married a Muslim man.
He said: “My grandfather is also a Muslim. My fiancée grew up with parents from different religions and she never really embraced Islam, but why should that even matter?
“He was completely inappropriate.
“She has faced this kind of discrimination in many areas of her life, including her workplace, and it is not right. And with all the racial hatred in the country, he should be taken to task.”
Parker said he’d had a “bad feeling” about the driver on entering the vehicle.
“I told her to go into the shop because I did not want to leave her alone with the driver,” he said.
After the situation had escalated and his fiancée returned, the Uber driver put them out of the car and left them on Rosmead Avenue.
“Luckily I have a friend who lives close by, imagine if we were somewhere else. What about our safety? It is complete nonsense,” said Parker.
The couple took their experience to social media and received 119 shares and 64 comments.
Many people described their anger at the incident.
Through the posts on Twitter and Facebook, Uber also got in touch and said they would investigate the matter.
Parker said he did not blame Uber. “I do not blame them because they cannot monitor every driver, every time. But I expect them to take action, because something must be done.
“I would not like this to happen to anyone else. “It is rubbish,” he said. Parker said his desired outcome would be a public apology.
He said if Uber did not do anything, he was considering lodging a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission.
Parker was also in possession of a live recording which detailed the incident.
Uber said they were investigating the matter.
“We are deeply committed to the safety of all who use the Uber app,” a spokesperson said.
“Immediately upon hearing of this, Uber took the necessary steps to investigate the allegation and is in contact with both the riders and the driver-partner.
“Uber has an incident response team who are trained to deal with any issues, and they work with the relevant stakeholders in order to resolve any incident with a matter of urgency.”
The spokesperson said that drivers were immediately prevented from accessing the app if there is an allegation of wrongdoing, until an investigation could be concluded.