Seven injured as commuter attacks bus driver

Mpumalanga – Seven passengers on a bus were injured when one of the commuters attacked the driver while he was driving.

Spokesperson for the community safety, security and liaison department, Joseph Mabuza, said the accident happened on the R40 road between Mbombela and Barberton at about 06:00 on Monday.

"According to reports, the driver of the bus was distracted by a passenger after realising that the bus did not stop at the station where it was supposed to... This led to the passenger assaulting the driver while the bus was in motion. The bus then lost control and hit a tree, leaving seven people injured," Mabuza said.

Mabuza said the injured were rushed to Rob Ferreira Hospital and Nelspruit Mediclinic.

Department MEC, Vusi Shongwe, warned public transport passengers not to distract drivers while they were operating vehicles.

"Imagine how many innocent people could have died just because of a misunderstanding which could have been sorted out without fighting. Passengers must refrain from distracting and interfering with drivers. If they have complaints against drivers, they must report either to the owners of the vehicle or to the law enforcement authorities," said Shongwe.

Shongwe said distracting or interfering with drivers should never be tolerated as it could cause unnecessary accidents.

He also encouraged public transport owners to put numbers on their vehicles to be used by the passengers in case they have complaints against drivers.

The passenger has been arrested and faces charges of malicious damage to property and common assault.

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