Special needs commuters in shock after vehicle stoned in Cape Town

2017-10-03 19:03
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Cape Town – A blind commuter and three wheelchair users are in a state of shock and trauma after one of Cape Town’s Dial-a-Ride vehicles was attacked in the Belhar region, a city official said on Tuesday.

The vehicle was attacked by a mob on the corner of Symphony Way and Stellenbosch Arterial around 18:00 on Monday, said transport mayoral committee member Brett Herron.

Blikkiesdorp protesters had gathered at Symphony Way at the time, forcing the closure of the road in both directions between Hindle and Stellenbosch Arterial. It was re-opened around an hour later.

“The windows of the vehicle were stoned. Inside, four commuters with special needs were sitting strapped in their seats with nowhere to go,” said Herron.

The commuters made use of the contracted service provided by the city as they could not use conventional public transport.

'Shocked and horrified'

The driver contacted the police and ambulance services.

"I am shocked and horrified by this attack. I cannot begin to imagine the fear these commuters must have felt while being attacked," Herron said. 

The vehicle was attacked on both sides, with at least three smashed windows and three flat tyres, said Herron.

One of the passengers was admitted to hospital and discharged early on Tuesday morning.

“It goes without saying that the passengers and the driver are all traumatised and shocked.”

Herron said the continued attacks on public transport had reached a crisis point.

He made mention of a Golden Arrow bus that was attacked and torched in the same area on Monday night, and two men who boarded a Golden Arrow bus in Lansdowne at the weekend and robbed passengers.

No information on the attack

Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer was not immediately available for comment.

Western Cape police were still trying to locate information on the Dial-A-Ride attack.

“Crime intelligence work must be stepped up so that these attacks can be prevented. The ongoing targeting of all of our public transport infrastructure and operators requires special attention from our justice cluster,” said Herron.

He urged anyone with information on the violent transport attacks to contact their nearest police station.

They could also report vandalism and other important information to the City’s transport information centre on 0800 65 64 63.


Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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