Cape Town - The alleged assassination of Mzoxolo Cecil Dibela, a long-standing leader of the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta), has been described as a great loss within the taxi industry.
Dibela’s body was found in the sand dunes at Monwabisi beach in Khayelitsha on Monday afternoon. He had sustained gunshot wounds to his head.
Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said Harare police attended a crime scene at Monwabisi beach on Monday at about 15:00.
Swartbooi said 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," said Swartbooi, who added that the unknown suspects fled the scene and were yet to be arrested.
Dibela was also a deputy chairperson of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco).
Santaco provincial spokesperson Gershon Geyer said that Dibela "will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to the minibus taxi industry’s transformation and empowerment, in which he played a pivotal role".
He said his input and contribution to the industry was evident in the Santaco – Western Cape partnership with the Western Cape Government in the formation of the Red Dot and Blue Dot projects.
"On a provincial level he advocated for the plight of owners and drivers and never neglected his responsibilities to ensure development on a local level. He was fearless in his pursuit for creating a better society," said Geyer.
Codeta spokesperson Andile Khanyi said they had lost a great leader, a father.
"He was everything to Codeta. He always wanted to transform the industry."
Transport Mayco member Rob Quintas condemned the brutality in the strongest possible terms, saying that the alleged hit may lead to renewed conflict between the minibus taxi associations that operated 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," said Quintas.
He said the alleged hit on Dibela was devastating for the resumption of the MyCiTi N2 Express service between Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and the Cape Town CBD.
He said the operating contract with the N2 Company was set 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," he said.
Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell described Dibela as a firm leader who showed dedication in efforts to change the image of the minibus taxi industry.
"Since my appointment as the Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works in May 2021, I have been working very closely with Dibela in dealing with challenges facing the taxi industry," said Mitchell.
He said Dibela formed part of the leadership delegations that had been engaged in his efforts to end the taxi violence between Cata and Codeta.