Taxi boss Mama Mahashe dies
Taxi boss Noluntu Mahashe has died of cancer.
She chaired the Eastern Cape Taxi and Public Transport Sector (Santaco) right up until she was on her death bed.
She died at Frere Hospital on Friday after being hospitalised for more than a week. She fell ill three months ago.
Eastern Cape Taxi Council spokesperson Gabs Mtshala said while he was not certain of the diagnosis of her death, she used to complain a lot about stomach pain and swelling.
“She died of natural causes and I know she often complained of a bloated stomach which would give her great pain. It got bad about two months ago,” he said.
Mtshala said even though they watched her suffer, they were were still shocked and saddened by her death.
“She was a fighter, a very strong and courageous woman who served the industry even during her dying days.
“We are completely shattered and at a loss for words because we have lost a leader who had a wealth of knowledge and experience. She was our walking encyclopaedia who united the taxi industry and the bus associations. She was always a point of reference for everyone in the public transport space,” he said.
Mtshala praised Mahashe for her role trying to change the industry away from confrontation and violence.
“She was a mother to everyone and with her wisdom would always find amicable ways to solve problems and through this she earned the respect of all stakeholders.”
“Mama Mahashe served as chair for the association for four terms, which speaks volumes about her work conduct and ethic while before her, nobody could complete a single term.”
Mahashe’s granddaughter Yandisa confirmed her grandmother had died of stomach cancer which was only diagnosed in January, after several tests and X-rays for a period of 10 months.
“I am gutted, hurt and lost for words. She was such a character and she will be sorely missed,” she said,
Mahashe is survived by her two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and is expected to be laid to rest on February 24.
Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana described the late Mahashe as a gallant warrior, a true patriot and an epitome of women’s strength.
“Umam’ uMahashe has been an outstanding leader who made her mark in the unpredictable and male-dominated taxi industry. She was a fierce fighter and an astute negotiator in the boardroom. Attributes that earned her the respect of all those she crossed paths with, including in government.
“Her negotiation skills, her ability to unite and galvanise the taxi industry and maintaining good communication between the taxi industry and government will be greatly missed,” Tikana said.
Despite a few public disagreements, particularly during Santaco’s provincial taxi shutdown of September 2018, Tikana and Mahashe met regularly.
Mahashe was shot by a suspected hitman on May 5 2017. The bullet narrowly missed her kidney and exited through her buttock. She believed it was a hit. She did not want the shooter arrested, but to be given employment...