06/03/2018 11:53 SAST | Updated 06/03/2018 11:53 SAST

"A Terrible Death He Didn't Deserve": Murdered Taxify Driver's Aunt

Several people have died over the past two years in a turf battle between metered taxi operators and drivers for ride-sharing apps.

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"Respectful, well-mannered and quiet," is how Nobuhle Mbonambi described her late 21-year-old nephew, allegedly the latest victim in a battle between metered-taxi operators and drivers for apps like Uber and Taxify.

The body of Siyabonga Langelihle Ngcobo, a Taxify driver, was found in the boot of his burnt-out car near the University of South Africa (Unisa) Sunnyside campus on Thursday night.

Mbonambi, who lived with Ngcobo in Centurion, said she last interacted with him on Thursday morning.

"He's usually asleep when I leave for work, but that morning we spoke. As if he was saying goodbye.

"I feel like 'my son' died a terrible death that he didn't deserve. This whole war has to end before more kids die the same way," Mbonambi said to News24.

Several people have died over the past two years in a turf battle between metered taxi operators and ride-sharing apps drivers. There has been no evidence linking Ngcobo's death to the ongoing battle yet.

Ngcobo moved to Centurion in 2003 from Inanda in eastern KwaZulu-Natal to live with his aunt. He was a fourth-year student at the Tshwane University of Technology, studying sport management.

He had recently started an events company and was coordinating events for the university.

He had only started picking up Taxify shifts a week before he was killed.

Mbonambi, 30, is calling for anyone with information about her nephew's death to come forward.

"I need people to speak out," she said.

"It happened in Sunnyside at around 6pm. He was picking up children at a mall. Someone must have seen whoever took him and put him in the boot.

"People must go to the police station, so we can identify these people – they need to be arrested."

No suspects have been arrested. Police said they are investigating the case.

On Friday, Taxify said a high-priority team was looking into the matter as well, to aid police in their investigation.

Ngcobo's family also wants the forensic team to speed up the investigation, so they can give him "a proper burial". Mbonambi said police had told her it could take anything between two weeks and two months to release his body.

"We need to put him to rest. We are very traditional people, and we cannot have his spirit roaming around Pretoria," she said.

Ngcobo's mother travelled from KwaZulu-Natal to provide police with a DNA sample and is awaiting the result.

A social media campaign under the hashtag #JusticeForSiyabonga has also been launched in an attempt to bring the perpetrators to book.

A march by TUT students has been planned for Friday in Pretoria to protest the murder and demand action on the violence.