Cape Town - The Western Cape taxi industry is in shock after the body of one of its taxi leaders was discovered at Monwabisi Beach yesterday afternoon.
A long-standing leader in the industry, Codeta secretary and deputy chairperson of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) Western Cape, Mzoxolo Dibela’s body was found dumped at the beach with gunshot wounds to his head.
His murder comes a few days before he was to sign an agreement with the City of Cape Town to bring MyCiTi back to Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.
“We are still shocked,” said Codeta spokesperson Andile Khanyi. “We do not know what happened. After we received the news we rushed to the scene, but his body was already removed. I do not know what to tell you, but we did not expect to start the year like this.”
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said Harare police attended a crime scene at Monwabisi Beach yesterday at about 3pm.
“Upon arrival, they found the body of an unknown man next to the road who sustained gunshot wounds to his head. The victim was declared deceased on the scene by the medical personnel. The motive for the attack is taxi related.”
He said the unknown suspects fled the scene and were yet to be arrested.
There are fears that the killing will reignite the spate of shootings that took the lives of 123 people last year.
Rob Quintas, mayoral committee member for transport, said the assassination of Dibela was the most distressing and devastating news.
“We extend our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in the minibus taxi industry.”
“I also want to condemn this brutality in the strongest possible terms as this alleged hit may lead to renewed conflict between the minibus taxi associations that operate across Cape Town. We are extremely concerned about the danger and disruption this may pose to commuters, operators and all of those involved in the industry.”
Quintas called for calm and will be meeting with Codeta leaders, the mayor and the MEC for Transport and Public Works to find see how they can assist.
“The alleged hit on Mr Dibela is also devastating for the resumption of the MyCiTi N2 Express service between Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and the Cape Town CBD. The operating contract with the N2 Company was to be signed this week.
“Due to this tragic event, we are now faced with huge uncertainty about the signing of this operating contract and the future of the N2 Express service.”
MEC for Transport and Public Works Daylin Mitchell also expressed his condolences.
“Since my appointment in May 2021, I have been working very closely with Mr Dibela in dealing with challenges facing the taxi industry. Mr Dibela formed part of the leadership delegations that I have been engaging in my efforts to end the taxi violence between Cata and Codeta.
“He was a firm leader who showed dedication to change the image of the minibus taxi industry.”
“I extend my sincere condolences to Mr Dibela’s family, to the members of Codeta and to the colleagues in the broader taxi industry. May his soul rest in peace.”