National security cluster set to look into attacks on long-distance buses

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

Picture: @intercapebus/Facebook

CAPE TOWN - The issue of violent attacks on long-distance buses has been elevated to the national security cluster for urgent attention.

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

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

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

Intercape's attorney, Jac Marais, has told the committee that the bus company had recorded a 150 incidents since the start of 2021 and these involved shootings, intimidation, assault and extortion.

This year, there've been at least 29 stonings and 19 shootings reported.

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

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

However, he claims that not much help had been forthcoming.