Vice chairman of the Ivory Park Taxi Association (Ipta) Sam Sibisi has been killed in hail of bullets in front of his children outside his house in Ivory Park near Tembisa.
Police spokesman Captain Manyadza Ralidzhivha said the shooting happened about late afternoon on Tuesday.
“He was sitting with his two children in front of his home. A vehicle came and people in it started opening fire on him. They just targeted him they did not target anyone else. A case of murder has been opened and we are investigating,” said Ralidzhivha.
Sibisi was long standing member of the taxi association and a respected leader in the industry.
On Thursday, members of the association and its executive visited his home to send their condolences to his family.
A convoy made-up of patrol cars drove to Sibisi home with members of the public standing to watch on the side of the road.
In their messages of condolences, the taxi owners described Sibisi “a parent, a hero and a father who taught many newcomers in the taxi industry”.
President of the SA National Taxi Council Phillip Taaibosch described Sibisi’s death as a “terrible tragedy to the industry”.
“We never expected this kind of thing could happen to one of us at this time of the year. At this particular moment, one cannot make a definite statement as to what could have happened. I can’t say at this stage whether it is taxi violence or what. I am depending now on the police, may be through their investigation we will know what happened,” said Taaibosch.
He said: “We call upon all the taxi operators in the Ivory Park Taxi Association to give evidence where they can. If they can’t openly do so, let them come in as whistle blowers…If we don’t do that we will never get these perpetrators before the law.”
Sibisi’s shooting just four months after drivers and their friends belonging to Ipta were killed when their Toyota Quantum was ambushed between Colenso and Weenen in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
A total of 13 people were returning from a funeral of a taxi owner who had also been gunned down. Two people who were also in the vehicle miraculously survived the hail of bullets that rattled the vehicle. The shooting shocked the nation and forced police to set up a special task team to investigate the incident.
Chairperson of the association Johannes Mkonza was not available for comment at the time of going to press.