Why us? ask victims of shooting rampage

Like everybody else, the victims of Wednesday's apparently racially-motivated shooting in Rustenburg are in the dark about alleged gunman Lukas Dreyer's motives for opening fire on them.

"I am dying to meet this man to hear from him why he shot us. I feel very bad," said Lazarus Moime, 49, who was recovering at the Rustenburg Provincial Hospital.

Moime, who has two bullet wounds in the thigh and right hand, was the first person to be hit.

A Soweto resident, Moime said he was visiting his 75-year-old mother in a minibus taxi at one of Rustenburg's villages when a bullet went through the cubbyhole and hit him.

"When the gunshot sounded, I thought a shot had gone off accidentally from the driver's gun, but after he asked me if I was carrying any firearm, we realised it was coming from outside."

More shots rang out and the driver was forced to stop. He realised that several other passengers had been hit.

Vuyani Bheki, 42, from Transkei, was hoping to phone his family back home to tell them he had arrived safely. But as he is in hospital with a bullet wound in the side of the head, they still do not know whether he arrived back in the North West.

He said a bullet entered through the left-hand side window and grazed his head.

The hospital's matron, Diana Morapedi, said the two patients were in a serious, but stable condition.

A male patient, as well as a 23-year-old woman who was shot in the right eye, were transferred to Garankuwa Hospital for specialised treatment. The other four, who were admitted at the Peglerae Hospital, were discharged.

Dreyer appeared in the Rustenburg magistrate's court on Thursday on 16 charges of attempted murder.

He is alleged to have parked along the R24 about 10km outside Rustenburg and, using a pair of binoculars, to have shot at nine vehicles, with a .303 hunting rifle. At least 16 people were injured, seven of them seriously.

Police say he was drunk when they arrested him a few kilometres from the crime scene, still sitting in his red Toyota Cressida, holding his rifle. A half-empty bottle of whisky, a Bible and ladies' shoes were found in the car.

His case was postponed until January 25 for further investigation. - Own Correspondent and Sapa