AGE OF THE ASSASSIN
Paarl Codeta chairperson killed outside his home, now ‘we’re all worried’, say other taxi bosses
There are growing concerns in the taxi industry following yet another killing of a prominent taxi association leader in Paarl.
Taxi violence in the Western Cape has claimed yet another prominent figure for the third consecutive month.
Siyabulela Mandyoli, chairperson of the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) in Paarl, was fatally shot on Tuesday afternoon.
According to his wife Funiswa, the B97 route leader was shot and killed outside his home in the Mbekweni area. She said gunmen in a white vehicle waited outside his home and opened fire upon his arrival.
“I was standing with him when the gunmen opened fire and I ran inside the yard,” she told Daily Maverick.
“I went back outside to check on him and he was lying there. The shooters sped off.”
Funiswa said the father of three was respected by the church where he was a senior member.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said the 52-year-old was shot at about 4.30pm on Phokeng Street, Mbekweni.
“The motive for this incident is suspected to be taxi-related,” said Van Wyk.
“Detectives of the provincial Serious and Violent Crime: Taxi Violence Unit are questioning several people in a bid to apprehend those responsible.”
The office of the MEC of mobility in the province said there is heightened security in the area.
The City of Cape Town has also asked its law enforcement officials to be on alert around Bellville and the B97 route.
In 2021, taxi associations linked to the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and Codeta were at loggerheads over the B97 route, which runs between the Mbekweni and the Bellville taxi ranks. This resulted in 24 murders and 29 attempted murders linked directly to the taxi industry.
Read more on Daily Maverick: It’s not yet uhuru, says Minister Mbalula, after Cape taxi associations agree to resume services
The route had to be closed by mobility MEC Daylin Mitchell to try to quell the violence.
Mandyoli was a key figure during the negotiations that led to the reopening of the B97 route, and was instrumental in ensuring a peaceful coexistence among the two rival taxi associations operating in Mbekweni (Cata and Codeta).
There now seems to be a pattern in the killing of prominent taxi leaders linked to the two associations.
In April, Sizwe Khobocwana – the chairperson of Route 1 between Khayelitsha, Wynberg and Claremont – was shot repeatedly in his vehicle in front of his home on Dorado Road, Kuils River.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Cape Town Codeta taxi boss gunned down outside home
A month later, Charmaine Bailey – Cata secretary and a training officer for the Cata Regional Taxi Council – was fatally shot during a meeting at Wynberg.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Yet another taxi kingpin gunned down in Cape Town as industry violence intensifies
The police are yet to make arrests in any of these cases.
Codeta spokesperson Andile Khanyi said they are now wondering who among them will be next as it appears leaders are being targeted.
“We are all worried now,” he said. “We do not know the root cause of these assassinations. It is difficult for us to even investigate because we are not officers of the law, hence we are asking for assistance from the police to properly investigate these killings.”
He added that if there are people with issues they must approach their offices instead of killing people.
Anyone with any information about the latest killing is urged to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111. DM
Update: Western Cape mobility Minister Ricardo Mackenzie has said the killing was a blow to transport operations in the area. “I am extremely concerned about the impact on commuters. People need to get to work safely; children need to get to school safely. This is my number one priority and I urge all role players to prioritise the safety of commuters with strong leadership and respect for each other and the rule of law. Minibus taxi services continue to operate today, with increased security presence by authorities in Mbekweni, surrounding areas and at the Bellville public transport interchange.
Mackenzie said that Mandyoli played an important role in the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between PATA and the CATA Boland Taxi Association that resulted in the reopening of route B97 (Mbekweni (Paarl) – Bellville). “The signing of the MOA ended years of conflict between the two associations for control of route B97. Both parties agreed to co-exist and to jointly provide services on this route.”