National security cluster set to investigate attacks on long-distance buses

Officials said that while the worrying trend of violent attacks on long-distance buses was widespread in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, the problem was also emerging in other provinces, making it a national problem.

CAPE TOWN – The issue of violent attacks on long-distance buses has been brought to the National Security Cluster for urgent attention.

This was revealed when the Western Cape Transport Standing Committee was briefed on the matter on Friday.

Intercape has shared details of the attacks since 2019 and the meeting was also attended by the South African National Taxi Board and the Department of Community Safety and Police Oversight.

Officials said that while the worrying trend of violent attacks on long-distance buses was widespread in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, the problem was also emerging in other provinces, making it a national problem.

Intercape lawyer Jac Marais told the committee that the bus company had recorded 150 incidents since the start of 2021 and that they included shootings, intimidation, assaults and extortion.

This year, at least 29 stonings and 19 shootings have been reported.

During his presentation, Marais showed the committee evidence of extortion in the form of a note from someone claiming to be from an Eastern Cape taxi association in which there appears to be a demand for R100,000 in security exchange.

Marais said it was among many documents submitted to police and other law enforcement authorities.

However, he says little help has been forthcoming.

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