Golden Arrow bus driver shot through the mouth in Khayelitsha
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Cape Town – A Golden Arrow bus driver, 48, was struck by a bullet through the mouth while dropping off passengers at Jaftha Masemola Street in Khayelitsha at the weekend.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said police were investigating cases of attempted murder and armed robbery after a shooting incident, which reports said occurred opposite the Khayelitsha Fire Station in Site C on Friday.
Van Wyk said the driver was dropping off passengers when three suspects approached the bus. One of the suspects fired a shot through the windscreen, hitting the driver.
The other two suspects then got on to the bus, took the driver’s cellphone and an unknown amount of cash and also robbed the passengers, then got off and fled, he said.
"The victim drove the bus from the scene to the police station. He was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment; because of his wound he was not able to speak," said Van Wyk.
He said currently the suspects were unknown as well as their whereabouts.
Gabs spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said unfortunately Covid-19 protocols did not permit them to visit the driver, “but we have been checking in daily with the hospital and he is doing well".
Dyke-Beyer said that on Saturday at approximately 7.50am another bus travelling in the Kleinvlei area had two windows damaged as a result of a gunshot.
"At this stage it is not clear whether the bus was targeted but it would seem more likely that this was a stray bullet. No injuries were reported," said Dyke-Beyer.
She said they were disheartened by the incidents as their collaborative approach with the government and the police had been yielding positive results thus far.
“The implementation of various interventions are continuing at a fast pace. We will continue to keep the public informed as far as is possible, given the covert nature of some of the interventions.”
She said as a public service their more than a thousand buses operated across the Peninsula, often in areas with high crime rates.
“We are doing everything that we can to ensure that our drivers and passengers are safe, but given the crime statistics in our areas of operation it is clear that this problem is societal and simply too complex and vast for a public transport operator to solve alone.”
Commuter and activist Deon Carelse said Gabs was trying its best to improve its buses, but more still needed to be done.
Carelse said it was even more dangerous to be on a bus than to be in a taxi. “A lot of buses do not have rear-view mirrors for the driver to look at the passengers and maybe spot the suspects, when they board the buses,” he said.
SA Transport and Allied Workers Union national co-ordinator for passenger buses, Solomon Mahlangu, said Gabs needed to better its relationship with surrounding communities so that, together, they could work with law enforcement to lessen criminal activities meted out to bus drivers.
National Union of Metal Workers of SA (Numsa) regional secretary Vuyo Lufele said Gabs should hire its own law enforcement, for the safety of its drivers and passengers.
Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is urged to contact the Crime Stop on 0860010111 or via the MySAPSApp.