The attacks on Intercape buses are nothing new, as they date back to 2019 with more attacks happening since then.
But the bus company has opened 126 cases with the police, with none of them being attended to.
BUS ATTACKS HAVE ESCALATED SINCE 2019
A breakdown of the attacks was laid out by Intercape CEO Johann Ferreira on Friday. Speaking at the sitting of the Western Cape Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works, he pleaded for authorities to step in and protect the company and the long-distance bus industry.
The industry has been facing blatant intimidation and violent attacks, he said.
Incidents of stoning, intimidation, assault and attempted extortion have taken place since 2019.
Last year, 150 similar incidents occurred and 141 of the same violence towards Intercape have taken place just this year, said spokesperson Lindiz van Zilla.
19 SHOOTINGS AT INTERCAPE BUSES THIS YEAR ALONE
Van Zilla states that there have been 19 shootings directed at Intercape buses this year alone. A total of four bus drivers have been shot and wounded.
The most recent attacks took place in the past week, with the latest shooting taking place in Cape Town on Wednesday night.
The driver was shot and the bus dove into an embankment. Fortunately, there were no passengers on the bus at the time. Shortly after that attack, a second bus was also shot at but no injuries were reported.
This attack comes days after another driver was shot and critically wounded at the Intercape depot in Airport Industria.
“In April, 35-year-old Intercape bus driver, Bangikhaya Machana, died after being shot outside the company’s depot.”Lindiz van Zilla
One passenger was also shot and wounded in the leg.
Majority of the incidents have taken place in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.
INTERCAPE INCIDENTS OF STONING AND INTIMIDATION REPORTED JUST IN 2022
“So far, this year, there have been 92 incidents of intimidation against Intercape, including threatening of staff and forcing passengers off coaches at gunpoint or under threat of violence,” said van Zilla.
A driver was assaulted this year and in May, a taxi operator threatened to shoot passengers. Intimidation has also occurred at Intercape offices and depot in Airport Industria.
“Since the start of the year, there have been 30 incidents of stone-throwing at Intercape coaches. The stone-throwing incidents have resulted in injuries of 10 staff and two passengers.”Lindiz van Zilla
NO ACTION FROM POLICE DESPITE MORE THAN 100 OPENED CASES
A total of 126 cases have been opened with the police across the country. These include 61 cases of intimidation directed at Intercape coaches, 14 intimidation cases at their offices and depots, 20 shooting incidents and 31 vehicle stoning incidents.
“Evidence, including photographs and video footage, which in some cases clearly identify attackers as well as vehicles used in the attacks, has been handed over to the South African Police Service. To date, there has not been a single arrest,” van Zilla said.
TAXI ASSOCIATIONS ACCUSED OF BEING BEHIND THE ATTACKS
Intercape CEO Ferreira blames “rogue” taxi associations behind the violent attacks. He states that these associations are intent on forcing bus operators out of certain regions and key routes.
“They are doing this at the end of a barrel of a gun and authorities have done nothing to stop these attacks and prevent bloodshed. Instead, there have been attempts to intimidate and persuade us to be party to agreements around pricing structures and routes which amounts to price-fixing. This is a serious criminal offence and Intercape refuses to participate in such acts,” he said.