Popcru: BRT attack deplorable

2010-05-03 16:07

Johannesburg - A brutal attack on bus rapid transport (BRT) commuters in which one person was killed on Friday undermines the provision of quality public transport services in Gauteng, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said on Monday.

"Popcru has noted the brutal attack on commuters in Soweto related to the continued narrow disrespect by some taxi juntas who undermine government intentions and intelligence to improve provision of quality, sustainable public transport system in our country," Popcru said in a statement.

"We deplore this senseless harm to human life, and to endanger our human capital on the basis of capitalist greed. Popcru adjures all like-minded organisations to show a red card to all these lunatics.

"Workers of this country are tired to arrive late at work and from work due to unnecessary queues everyday on the basis that few people want to monopolise the transport sector (sic).

The union urged police to "expose the enemies of development".

No arrests made

Democratic Alliance spokesperson on transport in Johannesburg, Nico De Jager, said the shooting was a clear demonstration of the unwillingness of the taxi industry to co-operate with the city and its plans.

"Of great concern... is that to date absolutely no arrests have been made by the (police) relating to any of the incidents of shooting since the violence against the introduction of Rea Vaya BRT started in 2006.

"The Democratic Alliance calls on the Mayor Amos Masondo not to allow thugs to derail the roll-out of tomorrow's feeder systems," he said.

Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said a 32-year-old man died on Friday after arriving at hospital soon after one of two separate shootings.

"He died from gunshot wounds to his chest," Dlamini said.

BRT cheaper than taxis

He said the two shooting incidents had not been linked because police did not believe they were carried out by the same people.

Gunmen opened fire on a Rea Vaya bus, killing one passenger and wounding others in Orlando West.

In the second incident a driver and four passengers were injured when a bus was shot at in Moletsane.

The Rea Vaya BRT system was introduced in August last year. The BRT buses transport commuters between Soweto and central Johannesburg at a cheaper fare than that paid to minibus taxis.

Some taxi associations were against the implementation of the BRT as they said it would put them out of business.