- A suspect has been arrested in connection with the spate of attacks onlong distance Intercape buses.
- The suspect faces murder and attempted murder charges.
- Western Cape MEC for Mobility Daylin Mitchell welcomed the arrest.
Western Cape MEC for Mobility, Daylin Mitchell has welcomed the swift arrest of a 28-year-old man in connection with a string of attacks on Intercape bus drivers.
"I am grateful for this breakthrough and progress made by SAPS in the investigation... We will track this case in court and continue to follow up with SAPS until there’s a successful conviction," said Mitchell.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said the suspect was arrested in Klapmuts in the Cape Winelands during a tracing operation.
He faces murder and attempted murder charges relating to the Cape Town attacks on the buses in March and April this year.
In April, 35-year-old Intercape driver Bangikhaya Machana was shot, resulting in him sustaining serious injuries. He died three days later in hospital.
In the attack in March, shots were fired at another Intercape bus.
He said provincial traffic will continue to monitor bus operations and with the support of SAPS, will be on the lookout for any "patrol vehicles" that illegally stop and extort money from buses and other vehicles along key routes between Western Cape and neighbouring provinces.
Three attacks have taken place this month alone.
The company last week briefed Western Cape legislature's standing committee on transport, revealing that police had made no arrests in the nine cases of violence and intimidation reported by the long-distance industry by April 2021.
It said that so far, there had been more than 80 attacks in 2022, including 19 shootings and 29 incidents of rocks being thrown. There were 150 attacks last year.
In one of the attacks on Wednesday, a driver travelling on the N2 heading to Cape Town Station to fetch passengers was shot and wounded near the Jakes Gerwel Drive turn-off. He tried to take the off-ramp to get away and seek help but was injured, and the bus careened down a slope. The driver was taken to hospital.
A short while later, a second Intercape coach was shot at in the same area. No one was injured, and there were no passengers on board at the time. The coach was taken to the depot. On Sunday, a driver was shot and wounded outside the depot. He was in a serious but stable condition.
In another incident, a driver was shot and wounded outside the depot, also left in a serious but stable condition.
The suspect is expected to appear in Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s court on Monday.