Pretoria - Mayor Solly Msimanga and MMC for Roads and Transport, Sheila Lynn Senkubuge, on Monday night visited the Kosmos Estate, Samrand, home of murdered Taxify cab driver Siyabonga Langelihle Ngcobo, 21, who was allegedly kidnapped and burnt in the boot of a car in Sunnyside.
Msimanga said he was sad and upset because he had learnt of claims that police were called after Ngcobo had been kidnapped last Thursday, but apparently told the people that they were not interested in taxi wars.
Ngcobo was allegedly kidnapped and burnt in a Chevrolet Aveo on Thursday night.
“We invited all parties involved and we negotiated a peace and there was an agreement. It appears some people were not negotiating in good faith. This young man deserves justice,” Msimanga said.
Senkubuge added: “There has been a lot of political will to resolve this conflict (between metered taxi drivers and their mobile app-based counterparts). We invited the previous Minister of Transport and a process was started to get all the drivers permits in order to help resolve this conflict.”
Ngcobo's aunt, Nobuhle Mbonambi, said he was a fourth-year sports management student at the Tshwane University of Technology.
“He was on financial aid and drove a cab because he loved looking good and keeping himself busy. He was going to graduate next year and, since he only had two modules, driving a cab kept him occupied. He was part of the students who organised the Freshers' Ball at the university’s main campus,” she said.
“Siya was my sister Zandile’s only son and this has left her devastated. She is from KwaZulu-Natal. She is now scared of Pretoria after what they did to her son.”
Mbonambi said it meant a lot to the family that the mayor and MMC took their time to visit them.
Pretoria Uber and Taxify drivers blamed Ngcobo’s gruesome death on metered taxi drivers and demanded "unapologetic action" from the police. On Friday morning, they convened and vented their frustrations regarding the matter.
They said that despite several violent incidents in the taxi war, there was still insufficient political will to combat the violence.
Gauteng Metered Taxi Council general secretary Hendrick Ndou said he could not confirm whether the attackers were metered taxi drivers or not.
He said there were criminal element that infiltrated the conflict and made people assume any attack on Uber and Taxify drivers was perpetrated by metered taxi drivers.
Ndou said the association of metered taxi drivers was also expecting to hear from the government on what would be a solution to criminal elements that infiltrated the conflict.
Police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela told the Pretoria News that police investigations into Ngcobo’s death were at a sensitive stage.
“Any information released, over and above what is already in the public domain, could jeopardise the investigations. The police and the metro police have formed a joint operations centre as directed by provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange,” he said.