The City of Cape Town has brought in additional resources to monitor minibus taxi routes in the metro after the killing of Mzoxolo Cecil Dibela, a leader of the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) and deputy chairperson of the South African National Taxi Council.
Dibela’s body was found on Monday afternoon with multiple headshot wounds on the sand dunes close to Monwabisi Beach near Khayelitsha.
Police are investigating a case of murder.
Dibela’s body “was dragged to the spot where he was found”, according to a source close to the case. He had served two terms of more than eight years as a Codeta leader.
The motive behind the murder is believed to be ongoing rivalry over taxi routes.
But Codeta spokesperson Lesley Siphukela told the Mail & Guardian that “there’s been peace between the mother bodies … and we cannot point fingers if we don’t know the facts”.
Codeta and the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association agreed in August last year on new measures to end minibus taxi violence, but regular flare-ups are evidence that turmoil continues in the industry.
Dibela had only recently returned from the Eastern Cape and many of the people close to him were unaware that he was back.
Western Cape head of transport Daylin Mitchell expressed his condolences saying: “Since my appointment as the Western Cape minister of transport and public works in May 2021, I have been working very closely with Mr Dibela in dealing with challenges facing the taxi industry … He was a firm leader who showed dedication to change the image of the minibus taxi industry.”
Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for transport, Rob Quintas, slammed Dibela’s killing and noted with concern the possible effect it would have on the taxi industry.
“I 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,” he said. “We are extremely concerned about the danger and disruption this may pose to commuters, operators and all of those involved in the industry.”
He said additional resources have been allocated to monitor minibus taxi routes.
Quintas said Dibela’s death could undermine the reopening of the MyCiTi N2 Express service between Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and the Cape Town central business district. Dibela was a signatory to the agreement to reopen the bus service.
“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,” Quintas said.