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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2008, 17:04 GMT
SA protest over miniskirt attack
Women's rights protesters
Some of the protesters wore short skirts
Hundreds of South African women have marched to a Johannesburg taxi rank, where a woman was sexually assaulted for wearing a miniskirt.

Nwabisa Ngcukana, 25, returned to where she was allegedly attacked by a group of taxi-drivers and street hawkers, who said she was indecently dressed.

"I came here to show the guys that I'm not scared of them - to face my demons," she told the BBC.

The taxi drivers shouted insults at the women, some of whom wore miniskirts.

Some shouted that South African women were being given too many rights.

The leaders of the Noord Street taxi rank had to urge the drivers to show restraint.


Police on horseback were on hand to keep the rival groups apart.

There were angry scenes on Friday at a similar march, when both women and taxi-drivers removed their clothes.

Nwabisa Ngcukana's torn miniskirt
Nwabisa Ngcukana's skirt was torn during the attack. Pic: The Sowetan

The case has caused a huge row over women's rights and public decency.

Passers-by reportedly laughed and cheered when Ms Ngcukana was assaulted last month.

"What we want to highlight is that women have rights - they have the right to choose what to wear," said Nonhlanhla Mokeona from the People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa) organisation.

She urged men to take part in the protest, to show they supported women's rights.

During Friday's march, some of the women exposed their thighs and breasts - a traditional form of protest in Africa amongst those who consider themselves powerless.

A group of taxi-drivers called the protesters "prostitutes" and then some also pulled down their trousers to show their buttocks.

The authorities have appealed to the taxi-drivers' association to help find those who allegedly assaulted Ms Ngcukana and other women in recent weeks.

While some South Africans have said it is against local culture for women to wear miniskirts, the National House of Traditional Leaders last week said that women often wore short skirts in traditional ceremonies.

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