The former Uber driver accused of several robberies and rapes in Johannesburg had no prior criminal record, the online transportation company said on Monday.
He had cleared all their background checks before being employed, spokeswoman Samantha Allenberg said in a statement.
“Prior to this individual’s deactivation and arrest, he held a valid professional driver’s permit and he cleared all background checks — there was no evidence of a prior criminal record.”
She said all drivers that applied for a job with Uber needed to undergo a pre-screening process, which included a criminal background check.
On 16 July, it was reported that a woman was attacked and raped after getting into what she thought was an Uber taxi in Fourways. A case of rape, kidnapping, and robbery was opened.
In August, a couple was attacked after ordering an Uber ride home from the Movida nightclub in Sunninghill.
The man’s access to his Uber account was revoked when suspicions arose that he might have been involved in the attacks.
“When we identified the suspect after an internal investigation, we notified the police immediately. It is our standard practice to immediately suspend any individual who may be involved in suspicious activity pending further internal and/or police investigation,” Allenberg said.
It used the tracking and recording technology installed in every Uber taxi to help police with evidence that led to his arrest.
Uber urged all passengers to verify details before getting into their vehicles and share their driver and vehicle details and estimated time of arrival with a relative or friend.
The man was meant to have appeared in the Randburg magistrate’s court on Monday, but the matter was not put on the roll, a senior prosecutor said.