Mtambo was a pioneer taximan

MANY people feared him for his courage and discipline, but to his family and taxi colleagues, Nimrod Sikoko Sipho Mtambo was a loving father and friend.

Mtambo died at Lenasia Clinic on March 20 after a short illness.

The man described by many as "a pioneer of the taxi industry" was born to a humble family in rural uMtshilwane village, Utrecht, near Newcastle, in KwaZulu Natal, in 1939.

Paying tribute to his father, Dumisani, 44, the eldest of his 18 children, described Mtambo as "a visionary and a pioneer in his field, a pillar of the Mtambo clan".

The larger-than-life "Bra Sixty", as he was known to his peers, was always neat, well-dressed and time-conscious. Mtambo, a fearless defender of traditional and cultural values, enjoyed horse racing and gambling in his spare time.

Mayor of Johannesburg Amos Masondo had only praise for Mtambo, who "played a leading role in shaping the South African transport sector".

He was the founding president of Top Six Taxi Management.

Top Six chief executive Babu Maharaj described him as a "father, friend, colleague and mentor".

Top Six Taxi chairman Sicelo Mabaso said: "We and all our affiliates have lost a father and commandant."

Mtambo is survived by his wife Shirley, 18 children and grandchildren, four sisters and a brother.

His funeral service will be held on Sunday at Diepkloof Hall in Soweto from 8am.

l All mourners and people coming to pay their last respects should park their vehicles at the family home - house number 1095 Phase 3 Diepkloof Extension - and will be transported to the hall, cemetery and back.