Golden Arrow Bus Services has issued a warning to drivers after passengers have been targeted in a spate of attacks in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs) has warned drivers to be extra vigilant when driving in and around Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain following a spate of robberies on buses that have claimed the life of one passenger.

According to Gabs spokesperson John Dammert, armed robbers have carried out 20 on-board robberies over the past eight months in these areas. On Wednesday morning, robbers struck twice in Lingelethu West, fatally wounding a passenger.

“Around 11am, the bus driver was coming out of Khayelitsha when four men boarded the bus as paying customers.

“But during the trip they took out their weapons and first robbed the driver of his takings, and then proceeded to rob the 10 passengers of their valuables. One of the passengers resisted and was shot in the chest.

“The robbers disembarked and the traumatised driver rushed to the Khayelitsha Day Hospital. Unfortunately the wounded passenger succumbed to his injuries. The driver is receiving counselling. The modus operandi in all the 20 cases was the same,” he said.

Dammert said they had noticed that most of the robberies were carried out in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, and were committed when it was relatively quiet.

“We have informed our drivers to be extra vigilant when operating in these areas. We are also appealing to passengers to alert the authorities when they notice any suspicious activities on the route,” he added.

City of Cape Town mayco member for safety and security JP Smith on Thursday confirmed that they had been approached by Gabs to assist with security along these routes.

Smith said: “We have met with Golden Arrow and discussed the safety and security concerns. However, the ball is in their court.

“The City is prepared to avail officers to patrol the area, but Golden Arrow have to financially come on board and play their part.

Police spokesperson Andrè Traut confirmed the latest two incidents and said the circumstances were being investigated. He said a murder docket had been opened but the suspects were still at large.

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