Striking workers 'definitely not' behind Intercape bus attack - Numsa

2015-09-17 05:48
Intercape bus

Intercape bus

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Striking Numsa workers are "definitely not" behind the attack on an Intercape bus which led to the deaths of two people, the union’s provincial secretary Vuyo Lufele said on Wednesday.

The union had been "amicably engaging" with the company for the past three weeks and Lufele believed it was in the final stages of negotiations.

Bus drivers had been on strike since last month after hostesses were retrenched, leading to bus drivers having to cover this service as well, he explained.

"Our members were definitely not involved in this barbaric act," Lufele said.

"We have been moving forward in terms of our discussions with the company. Our members would have no reason to do this."

On Wednesday, the Cape Argus quoted bus driver Dennis Moyo as saying that striking workers had been making life difficult for those who remained on duty.

He told the newspaper that he saw three men flee after two petrol bombs were thrown through his windscreen.

The fire spread quickly and he was unable to drive away.

He believed the attackers were strikers.

'It was the worst sound I ever heard'

Two men were killed and 34 other people were injured when the bus was petrol bombed in Onverwacht Street, Lwandle on Tuesday evening. 

The motive for the attack was not clear, Intercape said on Wednesday.

ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said four people sustained serious injuries and the rest were treated for smoke inhalation and burn wounds.

He said residents of the nearby informal settlement initially thought that shacks were on fire and arrived to see a bus was burning.

Witness Mbongi Booysen heard loud prayers and "horrible screaming" as he tried to help people trapped in the burning bus mere metres form his home.

"It was the worst sound I ever heard," he recalled on Wednesday.

"When I went to sleep last night, I could still hear it. It was terrible."

'It was a horrible thing to see'

Booysen was among those who tried to help the injured after the petrol bombing.

"All... residents came out of their homes and tried to lend a hand. The situation was terrible. I just prayed for God to give us the strength to help these people."

Grace Thambo said the shack dwellers had rushed to the nearby communal taps to get water in an attempt to douse the flames.

"Wow, it was a horrible thing to see. My biggest nightmare is to burn to death. Thank God we were able to help save some of the people who were hurt. They are lucky and blessed to be alive."

On Wednesday afternoon, Extended Public Works Programme workers were cleaning the remaining debris from the road and pavement. 

"This is the work of the devil," one commented.

Read more on:    numsa  |  capetown  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.