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‘Violent campaign’ waged against Interscape buses

Another Intercape bus driver was shot and injured in an attack on Wednesday on Jakes Gerwel Drive, and veered off the road. Picture: Supplied

Another Intercape bus driver was shot and injured in an attack on Wednesday on Jakes Gerwel Drive, and veered off the road. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 5, 2022

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Cape Town - Three Intercape buses have been attacked in the span of a week, with two drivers injured and recovering in hospital.

An Intercape driver was wounded after gunmen opened fire on a bus outside the company’s depot in Airport Industria on Sunday. On Wednesday, two Intercape buses were attacked on the N2 highway near Nyanga, just before the Jakes Gerwel off-ramp, within moments of each other. One of the drivers was shot in the stomach and leg.

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Intercape said a total of 124 criminal cases have been opened with police following incidents of shooting, stoning and intimidation levelled at Intercape employees and members of the public and to date, there has not been a single arrest.

“Two Intercape coaches came under attack in Cape Town on Wednesday evening. In the first incident, an Intercape driver was shot in the stomach and leg.

“He saw a parked police vehicle and took the off-ramp but was unable to keep the vehicle on the road. The driver was attended to on the scene before being rushed to hospital. There were no passengers on board at the time of the attack. The coach was en route to Cape Town station to load passengers,” the company said in a statement.

“A short while later, a second Intercape coach was fired on in the same area. No one was injured and there were no passengers on board at the time. The coach was forced to return to the company depot in Airport Industria. Wednesday’s attacks come days after an Intercape driver was shot and critically wounded outside the company’s depot on Sunday. The driver is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.”

They added that the attacks were as a result of a “violent campaign” waged against the industry by rogue taxi associations who they said seek to force long-distance coach companies out of operating in certain regions and routes across South Africa.

On Wednesday’s incident, police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said the unknown suspects fled the scene and are yet to be arrested.

“Gugulethu police opened a triple attempted murder case after a shooting incident early Wednesday evening on a passenger bus on the N2 by Nyanga just before the Jakes Gerwel Drive on route to Cape Town. One of the victims sustained injuries as a result of gunshot wounds sustained and was transferred to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. The motive for the attack is unknown,’ said Van Wyk.

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Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell said a Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament meeting was set for today, where the recent spate of extortion and of attacks on buses, including Golden Arrow buses as well as coaches serving long distance routes, will be discussed.

“This is the third incident in this week alone in which drivers of the company’s buses have been shot at by thugs whose sole aim is to intimidate and harass the employees and owners of the company.”

Mitchell said the growing number of incidents point to a dismal failure of crime intelligence, investigation and enforcement.

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“I have taken steps to ensure the matter is brought to the attention of relevant authorities in the security and enforcement environment for the urgent coordination of investigations and interventions after this spike in attacks on buses on routes between the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape and Gauteng. However, my calls appear to have fallen on deaf ears.”

Anyone with information on the incidents can anonymously contact Crime Stop at 086 0010 111 or SMS Crime Line at 32211.

Cape Times

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