Murder of taxi boss blocks MyCiTi N2 Express bus service and raises fears of industry violence

Efforts to restart the MyCiTi N2 Express bus line have been hit hard.

  • The Secretary General of the Congress of the Democratic Association of Taxis (Codeta), Cecil Dibela, was shot dead.
  • Dibela was among the signatories of the MyCiTi N2 Express bus line relaunch agreement.
  • The N2 Express route has been out of service since a dispute arose between taxi industry shareholders.

Cape Town’s efforts to restart the MyCiTi N2 Express bus route from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha have been dealt a blow after one of the taxi bosses who was a signatory to the deal was shot dead.

The Secretary General of the Congress of the Democratic Association of Taxis (Codeta), Cecil Dibela, was killed Monday afternoon on the beach of Monwabisi.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi confirmed the killing.

“Upon arrival they found the body of an unknown man beside the road who was shot in the head. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel. The motive for the attack is linked to the taxi. The unidentified individuals fled the scene and have not yet been arrested. Harare Police are investigating a murder,” he said.

READ | MyCiTi returns to the cards

On Tuesday, the city, along with taxi bosses, were due to sign an agreement that would allow MyCiTi N2 Express buses to operate on the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain routes.

The service was abruptly halted in May 2019 due to disagreements over its rollout.

Officials were due to hold the signing on Tuesday.

After more than two years away, Cape Town recently announced that the service is set to return, adding that it “has successfully concluded the supply chain management process”.

The process resulted in the City entering into a contract with the N2 Express Joint Venture (JV) Vehicle Operating Company which had been operating the MyCiTi N2 Express since its inception in July 2014.

Roberto Quintas, a member of the mayor’s transportation committee, said the alleged attack on Dibela was devastating and distressing.

He said:

We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and condemn the deadly brutality that has the potential to plunge the city into a wave of taxi disputes, causing danger and disruption to the lives of our commuters.

He added that it was also devastating for the recovery of the MyCiTi N2 Express service.

“The late Mr. Dibela was the board member authorized to sign on behalf of Codeta and with this tragic event there is now uncertainty as to whether this contract will be signed,” he said.

Codeta spokesman Andile Khanyi told News24 they were saddened by Dibela’s murder.

“We don’t know what was the cause of this murder. We lost one of our great leaders. We heard the news yesterday and we as Codeta are all shocked by it because he was a man with a vision,” Khanyi said.

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Melvin Z. Madore