Mamelodi shooting: Tshwane mayor calls for immediate intervention

A gunman entered a Putco bus and opened fire on passengers and the driver earlier today.

Putco has confirmed that one of its drivers and four passengers have been shot and wounded on a bus outside Mamelodi amid the turmoil on 3 July 2015. Picture: @tshidi_lee

JOHANNESBURG - Police are still combing the scene of this morning's Putco bus shooting in the Mamelodi area in which a driver and four passengers were wounded.

Putco says the bus had left the township and made a routine stop along Solomon Mahlangu drive when the shooting occurred.

Tshwane executive mayor councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said this morning's shooting was regrettable and called for immediate intervention.

"These are innocent people. All they need to do is to go to work, I mean that's all they want to do, in safe reliable public transport."

Local and provincial government convened a meeting to discuss how to stop the spiraling violence in the transport industry.

"The driver stopped at a routine stop. The gunman walked inside the bus. He pretended to be a passenger and opened fire. At this point, we don't understand what the motive is. One particular driver was shot and four other passengers."

Meanwhile, Gauteng Premier David Makhura says over the next year they will monitor taxi violence as its continues to increase and is a massive concern.

Makhura says those responsible for the violence on Autopax buses must be brought to book.

He says all steps will be taken to stabilise Mamelodi, starting with a meeting between the community, provincial and national government on Sunday.

The premier says government will not allow taxi drivers who are unhappy with Autopax taking over some routes in Mamelodi to hold commuters to 'ransom'.

In the meantime police will continue to escort Autopax bus drivers when leaving the bus depots until the violence has subsided.

#Putco Makhura: we want to work with taxi operators who are willing to work with us.

ML

#Putco Makhura says they want to talk with taxi operators so that they can incorporate them in their new public transport plans.

#Putco Makhura says the taxi industry can't hold commuters to ransom.

ML

The driver was shot in the stomach before the suspect shot four passengers and fled the scene.

At least 10 bullets appear to have struck the bus.

Shattered glass is strewn over the gravel on the side of the road.

Mamelodi bus commuters have pleaded with police to step up security in the area along the route where the shooting took place.

Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi said, "The shooting happened on a route unaffected by Putco's decision to cancel its service in some parts of Tshwane."

Vadi said the shooting had revealed the ugly face of the taxi industry.

"I think it's now clear that there's a sustained violence strategy in place. This is really the ugly face of the taxi industry that's now revealing itself. We call upon the leadership of the taxi association to act."

AUTOPAX

Mamelodi Taxi Association members want control of the routes previously used by Putco, but this contract has already been given to Autopax.

Autopax says it has since suspended all of its services in the township and will wait for authorisation from police.

CEO Nathi Khena said, "The situation is still tense. The police are about to wrap up their strategy meeting and then they will advise us on what to do. We're waiting on them to give us direction on whether to continue to operate."

Meanwhile, Tshwane Metro Police say they will not hesitate to act against taxi drivers who are preventing Autopax buses from operating in the area.

This morning three Autopax buses were pelted with stones and some roads were blocked with burning tyres and rubble.

Metro police superintendent Isaac Mahamaba says, "Nobody should take the law into their own hands. We're saying to them, this should stop immediately. But if no one listens to our calls, the laws will take its course."