Twenty Year Sentence for Man Convicted of Killing Go George Chief Negotiator
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Earlier today (19 November 2015), Judge Roseni Allie of the George Circuit High Court handed down a 20 year sentence to Mr Zanemale Laho for the murder of Go George chief negotiator, Mr Tom Queba. Judge Allie also sentenced Mr Laho to an additional four years for the theft of Mr Queba’s cellphone, eight years for the illegal possession of a firearm, and six years for the illegal possession of ammunition. The sentences will all run concurrently.
I welcome this sentence handed down by Judge Allie. While it will not bring Mr Queba back to his family who were so senselessly robbed of their loved one, it is still a sign of justice being served.
Mr Tom Queba, a leader within the George taxi industry and the chief negotiator in the engagements with Government on the roll-out of Go George, was shot and killed on 25 May 2014. We remember Mr Tom Queba for the strong, principled and committed leader that he was.
Mr Queba was a man of vision, a dedicated leader who sought the transformation of George and the greater South African public transport sector for the betterment of all. He foresaw the benefits of the Go George system, and the potential it had to improve the lives of the people of George significantly. He also understood how the transformed system could better the circumstances and long-term prospects of his fellow operators.
He was a fair negotiator who was fiercely committed to achieving an outcome that was to the benefit of everyone. He had an important role to play in the future system and his premature death was a great loss not only to his family, but also to George.
Go George was officially launched during October Transport Month last month, since it was initially rolled out in December 2014. The system is currently in its fourth phase of implementation, and has been very well received. Those who use it have testified to the positive impact that the system has had on their lives. The Go George network will continue to provide a safe and reliable public transport service to more and more people in George.
Mr Queba would be proud of the success of the Go George GITPN, and the progress made thus far.
May this sentence serve as a clear sign to all that no act of violence or intimidation will prevent this Government from fulfilling its mandate and its promise to the people of George.
My Department, along with George Municipality and National Government, remains resolute and unwavering in its commitment to rolling out the Go George service throughout George, fulfilling Mr Queba’s vision and continuing his legacy.