Metered taxis deny involvement in death of Taxify driver

The Meter Taxi Council has denied allegations that its members were involved in the kidnapping and murder of a Taxify driver.

On Friday, police found the charred remains of Tshwane University of Technology student Siyabonga Ngcobo in Sunnyside, Pretoria. Ngcobo was moonlighting as a driver in addition to running his own business.

Ngcobo’s death is part of a spate of attacks on drivers in Gauteng. On Friday, two metered taxis were reportedly torched hours after the discovery of Ngcobo’s body. In a separate incident, another driver in Johannesburg was murdered in what is believed to be an escalating fight for customers between ride-hailing businesses.

Taxify’s country manager Gareth Taylor has said that last week’s event “was the first and only one this year” but that his division would be involved with the police to “ensure that the case is thoroughly investigated.”

The Meter Taxis Council’s Oupa Skosana claims the killings are the result of the competition between Uber and Taxify drivers and has called on Transport Minister Blade Nzimande to have the matter resolved.

However, representatives of Uber and Taxify have denied that fighting between the two organisations led to the death of Ngcobo, accusing Skosana of making assumptions.

According to Uber’s communication department, “The only intimidation and violence has been from metered taxi drivers which has been witnessed over the years — there are multiple cases with the police which they announced last year.”

“This is a serious matter as bodies are piling up. We need to sit down and find a solution, as we did with the ex-minister,” Skosana told Eye Witness News (EWN).

Speaking to EWN, the transport department’s spokesperson Collen Msibi said the department is addressing the matter and has amended an act “to ensure that Uber and Taxify are not seen as exclusive services”.

In a statement, the department issued their condolences and condemned the attack as an “inhumane deed”, asking the police force to leave no stone unturned.


The chairperson of Pretoria Uber and Taxify representatives, Chris Ravhuhali, told Pretoria News that the agencies were “not violent people and are not people who will retaliate” and asked that law enforcement agencies protect them from meter taxi drivers.

“Our drivers are constantly being attacked and killed, but there are three police stations in this area – Sunnyside, Brooklyn and Pretoria Central. Violent metered drivers are walking all over us as if there are no police officers around,” Ravhuhali said.

Ngcobo had recently started working for the ride-hailing agency before being discovered in a boot of a burnt out Chevrolet Aveo.

His uncle, Melusi Mbonambi, says the attackers made the passengers get out of the vehicle and pushed his nephew into the boot.

“According to the passengers, they ordered him to get out, they asked him to open the boot and they put him inside and they burnt the car with him inside.”

No arrests have been made yet and Taxify has started to implement measures to keep its drivers safe.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday