The powerful taxi operating Gcaba family has distanced itself from a rumoured national shutdown and strike set for Monday in protest against former president Jacob Zuma’s continued imprisonment at the Estcourt Correctional Centre.
In a candid interview with Independent Media on Saturday, Mandla and Thembinkosi Gcaba, two of seven brothers, expressed disappointment that their family name had been linked with the anarchy that had gripped KZN and Gauteng.
This comes as voicenotes have circulated on social media that the family had donated its transport services to people to head to the Estcourt Correctional Centre as part of a bid to mount pressure on authorities to free Zuma from his 15 month imprisonment at the Correctional facility.
In one voicenote a woman is heard saying that on Monday there will be a national shutdown in which there would be burning of infrastructure including courts of law to bring the country to a standstill. It suggests the Gcaba family had volunteered its fleet of taxis to ferry Zuma supporters to the Estcourt Correctional Centre to protest against Zuma’s imprisonment.
Mandla Gcaba said although the family had advocated for the release of their uncle, Zuma, they were opposed to the looting, violence and destruction of property that has engulfed both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in the past week. The brothers said they had opened cases at different police stations in the wake of voicenotes and recordings circulating on social media suggesting they were fuelling the anarchy that has engulfed the two provinces over the past week.
In addition to opening cases with the police in Hillcrest, a suburb west of Durban, the brothers said they had also enlisted the services of private investigators and an IT firm to probe the voicenotes and find out where they had originated from.
“As a family there’s nothing that disturbs us as much as what is happening now when people engage in wrongdoing, stealing, looting and burning people’s infrastructure, private properties and where people get hurt and some even die, and they link our family’s name to that. We don’t tolerate that, it is wrong and we want an immediate end to it,” said Mandla.
He said they were professional business people of sober minds who had inherited their father’s business and had taken it from one level to another and they had no intention of sabotaging and misusing their family’s business by meddling in politics.
“We didn’t get this business through politics, there is no tender for taxis. Between 1999 and 2003 I migrated into the bus industry where I have bus tenders, but I have too much of an asset base and I don’t have any intention to destroy that asset base I have built and involve it in politics.
“We support politics because we are members of the ANC, yes, we support the ANC and Msholozi is our uncle that is well known and we don’t hide it. We support Msholozi and say he must be released from jail because we don’t believe his imprisonment is just. There are a lot of legal proceedings that occurred that we don’t agree with, the law was not clean and fair in this instance,” Mandla said.
He said they were against the anarchy, looting and destruction of businesses and that they wanted those who had perpetrated these acts under the guise that they were sponsored by the Gcaba family to be brought to account as such suggestions were fake news.
“We are relatives of the Zuma family and we support Msholozi fully, in every way we can support him that is necessary to his household, to him personally and his family. But any other thing outside that boundary we are not a part of. We view the anarchy that is happening as political and it has its instigators who we don’t know,” he said.
Gcaba added that the circulating voicenotes about their family’s supposed involvement in the anarchy and in planned anarchy had also traumatised their children and members of the family.
He said he was even willing to ensure the family’s entire fleet of taxis ceased operations for an entire month to prove the family had no involvement in any plans to cause instability in the country.
In other news – Touching scenes: Skeem Saam actress Nokuzola Mlengana (Sis Ouma) died before her time
Many of her fans and colleagues in the entertainment industry couldn’t bid farewell to her as funerals are allowed to have only 50 people. Only close friends and family were allowed to attend the funeral. Learn More