Cross erected in honour of taxi driver Jabu Baloyi killed confronting drug dealer in 2019
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Pretoria - The memory of slain taxi driver Jabu Baloyi who lost his life confronting a drug dealer will not be forgotten by his family and taxi drivers operating in Tshwane.
This was the stance taken by family, friends and taxi operators who had the Tshwane Metro Police Department shutdown Dr Savage Road as they erected a cross and laid a wreath to remember Baloyi's legacy.
Baloyi was shot and killed on August 27 2019 when he confronted a suspect who allegedly dealt drugs to young people in Pretoria and his death subsequently saw taxi operators shutdown the CBD for numerous days.
They angrily torched numerous buildings they suspected of being hotspots for drug dealings in the capital city and called on the police to act swiftly and find the suspect who took the life of a father who stood against criminality.
His family, friends colleagues said although his name now represents activism against the scourge of drugs, talking about his legacy was not easy around this time of the year, especially for those who made use of the road where Baloyi took his last breath.
They hoped that his bravery would encourage his four children and his widow Mpho Baloyi to stay strong and know that his death would not be in vain as criminals have been afraid to deal in the area since and everybody who knew him and worked with him would continue to fight for justice.
His widow said: "Just being here feels like this whole thing just happened yesterday and that brings back the pain to me and I can see my children still suffer from this whole thing two years later.
"What is even more painful is that his case was never solved and justice was never served. We want his killer brought to book. Our youngest child is about to turn eight and because of criminals a father is not around.
Vice-president of the Federated Local and Long Distance Taxi Organisation Simon Mampana said it was still painful to deal with Baloyi's death because his killer was not brought to book and when the people were confronting drug dealers after his death, the police escorted the suspected drug dealers out of the area.
"We know the person who killed Baloyi was escorted out by the police during a confrontation but for some reason this case cannot be solved. That is what makes this whole issue painful.
"It is sad to think that every time our people stand together and mobilise against drug dealers the police come and arrest them but they take drug dealers away to a "place of safety"," he said.
Baloyi's brother George said the family has not healed from the ordeal and they still meet and discuss the matter frequently.
He said: "We were told there would be further investigations but since the investigation officer known as Modise died of Covid-19 this case has lost direction. We hope this will remind the police that although we are choosing to remember his legacy at this particular time, we still expect them to ensure that justice is served."