I will miss you‚ says friend of murdered Taxify driver

08 March 2018 - 15:55
By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Siyabonga Ngcobo
Image: Twitter/@NobuhleMbonamb2 Siyabonga Ngcobo

A friend of murdered Taxify driver Siyabonga Ngcobo is shattered that he could not help his friend in need.

Fellow students‚ colleagues‚ family and friends of Ngcobo gathered at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) main campus on Thursday for his memorial service.

Ngcobo's death sparked a social media outrage after reports that his charred remains were found in his incinerated vehicle in Pretoria last week.

A sombre mood filled the hall as students sang and chanted political struggle songs.

His friend‚ Simon Mathe‚ 24‚ said he feels like he disappointed him.

WATCH | Slain Taxify driver remembered at memorial service

"I am sorry I wasn't there when you needed my help‚ though you were always there for me. I'm going to miss you‚ my friend‚" said Mathe.

He said he had fond memories of when they would share a meal.

"Siya loved burgers. Our last meal was a burger. Rest in peace‚ Siyabonga.”

Mathe said he not only lost a friend‚ but a confidant.

"We shared everything. He used to tell me about his dreams‚ we would share secrets and at all times he would say 'kuzolunga boi' (it's going to be okay‚ boy). I'm going to miss picking up my phone and calling him.”

Mathe said his friend's last words to him were‚ "I can't stay‚ I have to go to work.”

He joined Taxify because he was a hard worker and wanted to make some pocket money‚ some of which he wanted to contribute to his events management business‚ said Mathe.

"He was planning a big event for April‚" Mathe said.

A fellow Taxify driver‚ Khetho Dlamini‚ gave a heart-rending account of the fears that e-haul drivers live with on a daily basis.

"It's not easy waking up and starting a car. I look at my kids and ask myself if I will come back and see them again. I worry too. I wonder‚ am I going to see my family today?" said Dlamini.

He said he recently adjusted his working hours despite the demand for transport from the public.

"I now work from nine in the morning until seven [at night]‚" he said.

Dlamini urged the Ngcobo family to choose peace and forgiveness in their hearts in order to heal from the ordeal.

"I have also survived incidents that were gruesome‚" Dlamini said.

Ngcobo's lecturer‚ Christa Kampe‚ said she would miss his smile and dedication.

"Siyabonga was always in class. He was polite‚ sincere and would bounce off his ideas with everyone‚" said Kampe.

Students are mobilising to march from the campus to Nelson Mandela Drive where Ngcobo's body was found on Friday morning.