A man of substance

George Dlamini

The sombre tiding of Jerome Vusumuzi Dhlamini's demise cuts to the quick and weighs heavily on the collective shoulders of his kinsmen.

Cast in the mould of his famous late uncle, the colourful and effervescent Phillip "Joe Jones" Dhlamini, Vusi, or "VJ" as he was popularly known, was the very edition of Mohammed Ali's number one fan.

A man of infinite jest and a philanthropist, VJ was a consummate gentleman and an astute businessman and administrator.

In the taxi industry, which he faithfully and diligently served, he was the axis on which rectitude, integrity and selflessness revolved. A man of substance and a likeable fellow, he was the toast of the community and a pillar of strength.

He had Job's patience, which is a prerequisite in the taxi industry. Forthright and honest to a fault was he and one can boldly proclaim that the taxi industry will be bereft of his lofty faculty of reasoning and oratory skills.

The sheer magnitude of his demise invokes Mark Anthony's time-defying axiom: "O pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth

"That I am meek and gentle with these butchers

"Thou art the ruins of the noblest man

"That ever lived in the tide of times."

Dlamini was born on July 18 1957 in Orlando East, Soweto. Last week Wednesday, December 3, he woke up in the morning like everybody looking forward to doing his duties as usual.

A few hours later his lifeless body was lying next to the Diepkloof BP garage in Zone 3 with multiple gunshot wounds all over his body.

So ended the life and times of the man who served as chairman of the Diepmeadow Taxi Association.

Dlamini will be buried on Sunday at Avalon Cemetery, Soweto. The service will be held at Orlando Communal Hall from 8.30am to 11am.

May his dear soul rest in eternal peace.