Putco bus shot at during taxi protest

Pretoria - A Putco bus was shot at on Friday as violence escalated in Mamelodi, where minibus taxi owners continued to oppose the introduction of the Autopax bus service in the area.

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The bus, carrying passengers, was allegedly shot at by four men in a car about 5km from the intersection of Solomon Mahlangu Drive and Pretoria Road.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that the driver of the bus had been killed and a commuter injured.

The sister of the injured passenger said she received a phone call earlier on Friday morning while she was at home.

"When I got here I found my sister lying on the ground," Nomsa Mahlangu told a News24 correspondent.

"They said they had shot her and the bullet was in the stomach. When I arrived here her colleagues and friends they told me that a car with four occupants driving in the opposite direction started shooting at the bus and that is how she got shot.”

The woman was taken to the Pretoria East Hospital where she was receiving medical treatment.

"I heard the bus driver was also shot and he has passed away," Mahlangu said.

Police, paramedics on scene

At this stage, it has not been officially confirmed that the driver has died but paramedics, the SA Police Service and Tshwane Metro Police were on scene.

Putco spokesperson Tshene Wedi told News24 that a driver and several passengers were taken to hospital after a bus was fired upon on Friday morning but he did not have more details on the incident.

Tshwane Metro Police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba said he would give official comment at a later stage as they were still trying to ascertain what happened.

Protests by the taxi owners in the area have been going on for three days.

They have barricaded roads and pelted buses with stones.

On Friday, another three buses were damaged, bringing the total number for the week to seven.

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