File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The family of a murdered 23-year-old employee of e-hailing taxi service Taxify have issued a desperate appeal for information that may lead to the arrest of his killers.

This, they say, is after they were turned away by the company when they demanded answers about what had happened to him. They said Taxify told them they were embarrassing the company.

Mutsa Fernando, a Zimbabwean national, had been a Taxify driver for two days before his body was found in an open field in Philippi East.

“The last requested ride on his app lasted three minutes long, then it stopped. Whoever took his car drove around with it and left it in Delft the next day,” said his heartbroken sister Julienne Fernando.

The body was found on July 18, according to the police, who suspect that Fernando was killed in another location and dumped in Philippi.

No one has been arrested as yet, said police spokesperson Andre Traut.

Julienne said her brother’s face was badly beaten, and there was blood all over the Toyota he was driving. “There was blood and broken glass in the car, but the car was fine. The owner took the car to a car wash after he heard the car was dumped,” she said.

“His face was completely damaged, and (he) had small scratches on his hand. He probably tried to protect himself. The post-mortem showed he was killed with a blunt object like a stone or a hockey stick.”

Taxify Country Manager Gareth Taylor said the company was aware of the incident and would assist the police.

“Taxify engaged directly with Mr Feranando’s family at that time. On July 19, 2018, representatives from Bogwana Burns Attorneys, acting on behalf of Mr Fernando’s family, delivered a letter to Taxify’s offices in Johannesburg requesting information about Mr Fernando’s usage of the Taxify platform.

On the request for information about Mr Fernando’s usage of the Taxify platform, it is Taxify policy to only release such information directly to an investigating police officer on presentation of a case number.

“Taxify extended its condolences to Mr Feranando’s family at the time of his death, and continues to wish them well through this very difficult time.”

Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 0860 10111 or SMS Crime Linen on 32211.

Cape Times