Shot Ivory Park taxi group boss remembered
Preaching and music could not lift the spirit of taxi industry representatives who packed the Rabie Ridge hall in Midrand yesterday to mourn the death of Ivory Park Taxi Association (Ipta) vice-chairperson Sam Sibisi.
Taxi bosses, officials of the City of Johannesburg and other leaders in the community described Sibisi as a man who had dedicated his life to the taxi industry.
Gospel groups took turns singing famous hymns, trying to lift the mood of the memorial which was heavy as yet again the taxi industry mourned one of its members who had been gunned down.
Programme director Sihle Ndlovu even admitted how difficult it was for him to lead the service. "Brethren, it is difficult but we are trying to be strong," Ndlovu said.
Sibisi was gunned down at his Ivory Park home on December 11 in front of his children.
Police said a vehicle came by his house and occupants opened fire before it sped off. No arrests have been made.
At the hall there was a huge police presence, including armed security guards.
Sam Sikhweni, the route manager for Ipta, called for a solution to the killings in the taxi industry. "Is there no table where we can sit and talk and find a solution as a people? On Christmas people go home to be happy but we are crying every year because our members are being killed."
One of the mourners described Sibisi as a man who wanted everything to be done by the book. "Our knees are shaking," said the woman, identified as Mam Bhengu. "I wish you (media) could pray for us so that what is happening is resolved. It is enough,"
Just four months ago, the taxi industry gathered at the same hall to remember Ipta's drivers and their friends who were killed when their Toyota Quantum was ambushed between Colenso and Weenen in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
A total of 13 people were killed while they 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.
Yesterday, priests and other speakers urged the taxi industry to go down on its knees and ask for God's intervention to stop the killings.
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