Passengers and drivers under siege

2019-05-23 06:01

Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS) says there has been an increase in the number of bus robberies.

This comes after another robbery at Khayelitsha’s J section on Wednesday last week. It is alleged that the driver was robbed of his belongings and “company daily takings”.

GABS spokesperson John Dammert said robberies have increased from the maximum five incidents a month to between eight and 15 for the last 11 months.

In the latest incident, Dammert said the bus was traveling from Makhaza terminus to Cape Town.

“The driver was robbed of his personal belongings and company daily takings which can’t be disclosed due to the risk involved,” he said.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Xoliswa Nyalambisa said the bus driver was picking up people at the bus stop in Lawulo Road. She said while he was taking money from a passenger three men jumped in and pointed a firearm at the driver before starting to rob the passengers.

“On their way out one suspect shouted to others to shoot and after a shot was fired the bus driver sped off to Khayelitsha Site B Hospital,” she said.

Nyalambisa said on arrival at the hospital it was noticed that one passenger was shot in his chest and passed on.

She said a murder case was opened and no one has been arrested yet.

The case is still under investigation.

Dammert said the company does manage the risk of carrying cash on its buses by allowing drivers to reduce their cash at terminal points during their shifts and meal breaks.

However, he said the trend of robberies has changed and robbers are looking for cellphones and valuables carried by passengers for a medium exchange.

Dammert said they have engaged all law enforcement agencies continuously and reported all incidents to police in the area.

“We have deployed our officials and our security on routes that are regarded as hot spots during our operational hours,” he said.

He said their drivers are warned to be cautious and take evasive actions if and when they suspect any threats.

Dammert said the difficulty is that robbers act as passengers and it is challenging to premeditate their intentions.

However, their small business unit managers in the area are in contact with the police.

“GABS is currently looking at all kinds of technology that can assist with the robberies and engaged several companies for a solution to the challenge,” said Dammert

He said the safety of passengers is a priority and they will continue to seek, invest and protect their passengers and that they have also made available a reward of R50 000 for anybody that can assist in bringing criminals to book.


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