Man (71) dies after altercation with Uber driver at OR Tambo airport

A 71-year-old man, who was assaulted at OR Tambo International Airport a week ago has died, he passed on on Sunday afternoon, Kempton Express reports.

He died at 5.51pm after suffering severe head injuries.

Following the altercation over a parking spot at the airport on September 9, an Uber driver has been arrested. Uber also removed the driver from its Uber app.

The suspect is expected to apply for bail in Kempton Park Magistrate’s on Monday.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said the driver was initially arrested for assault but it was later changed to attempted murder when the severity of the man’s injuries became evident. Charges will now have to be changed again.

“What’s been described is horrible and something no one should ever go through,” said Samantha Allenberg, spokesperson for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, in a statement on Thursday last week.

“This violent and aggressive behaviour is completely unacceptable and upon learning of this, we immediately removed the driver’s access to the app. We have been in close contact with law enforcement to provide them with as much information as possible which has led to the suspect’s arrest,” Allenberg added.

She said all driver-partners have to undergo an AFIS secondary background screening. Prior to this individual’s deactivation and arrest, he held a valid professional driver’s permit and he cleared all background checks.

Airport management handed over video footage to the police on which the altercation could be seen.

Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, airport spokesperson, said the altercation took place at 10.12am, apparently over a parking space in front of the airport terminal building.

She said airport management viewed video footage of the incident. The video shows that an altercation broke out between a driver in a green SUV (71-year-old man) and a driver in a gold motor vehicle. The video shows that the SUV driver got out of his vehicle and kicked the fender of the gold vehicle.

The driver of the gold vehicle got out and the two men argued and then began throwing punches. An airport security officer patrolling the lower roadway intervened within one minute of the incident.

The driver of the gold vehicle then went into the passenger terminal building and returned with two people and their luggage.

While the driver of the gold vehicle was loading luggage into the boot, the driver of the green SUV returned and resumed the confrontation. While the driver of the gold vehicle was attempting to get into his vehicle, the SUV driver poked him in the face.

Punches were then again thrown as the airport security officer attempted to separate the individuals. During the brawl, the driver of the SUV fell to the ground. The driver of the gold vehicle drove off.

The airport security officer can be seen on the video attempting to separate the individuals and resolve matters throughout the altercation which lasted about four minutes.

Additional airport security officers arrived on the scene within five minutes. Police officers and paramedics arrived on the scene at about 10.35am.

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