Intercape buses have been targeted in Cape Town.

Gala Images / Darren Stewart

  • A suspect was arrested in connection with a series of long distance attacks Intercap buses.
  • The suspect faces charges of murder and attempted murder.
  • Western Cape Mobility MEC Daylin Mitchell welcomed the arrest.

Western Cape MEC for Mobility Daylin Mitchell welcomed the swift arrest of a 28-year-old man in connection with a series of attacks on Intercape bus drivers.

“I am grateful for this breakthrough and the progress made by the SAPS in the investigation… We will follow this case in court and continue to monitor the SAPS until a conviction is reached,” Mitchell said.

Police spokeswoman Brigadier General Novela Potelwa said the suspect was arrested in Klapmuts, Cape Winelands, during a manhunt operation.

He faces charges of murder and attempted murder in connection with attacks on buses in Cape Town in March and April this year.

In April, Intercape driver Bangihaya Machana, 35, was shot and seriously injured. He died in hospital three days later.

Another Intercape bus was fired upon during the attack in March.

He said provincial traffic would continue to monitor bus operations and, with the support of SAPS, would look for any “patrol cars” illegally stopping and extorting money from buses and other vehicles on key routes between the Western Cape and neighboring provinces.

READ | There was a shooting on Intercape buses in Cape Town this week, with two drivers injured

There have been three attacks this month alone.

Last week, the company briefed the Western Cape legislature’s standing committee on transport, revealing that until April 2021 police had made no arrests in nine cases of violence and intimidation reported by the long-distance transport industry.

It said there had been more than 80 attacks so far in 2022, including 19 shootings and 29 incidents of stone-throwing. Last year there were 150 attacks.

In one of the attacks on Wednesday, a driver traveling on the N2 to Cape Town station to pick up passengers was shot and injured near the Jakes Gerwell Drive turnoff. He tried to drive off the ramp to get away and get help, but was injured and the bus went down the slope. The driver was taken to the hospital.

Shortly after, a second Intercape bus was fired upon in the same area. No one was injured, there were no passengers on board at the time. The wagon was taken to the depot. On Sunday, a driver was shot and wounded near the depot. He was in serious but stable condition.

In another incident near the depot, a driver was injured and is also in a serious but stable condition.

The suspect is expected to appear at Bishop Lavis Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

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