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5 shot in Mamelodi as transport saga escalates

Putco confirmed that five people were shot & wounded on one of its buses this morning.

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

JOHANNESBURG -Putco confirmed that five people have been shot and wounded on one of its buses in Mamelodi this morning.

The driver was shot in the stomach before a suspect proceeded to shooting four passengers on the bus.

Putco spokesperson Tshepo Tsotsotso says all the wounded have been rushed to hospital.

"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."

The suspect allegedly fired the shots and fled the scene.

THE SCENE

At least 10 bullets appear to have struck the bus which is now parked on the side of the busy Solomon Mahlangu Drive.

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

Investigators are now collecting evidence.

Commuters who were inside the bus have already left the scene as bystanders have now gathered.

#Putco it says the bus was travelling on a route that was not affected by its decision to cancel the service to some parts of Mamelodi.

A woman who drove past the area early this morning said, "There's a Putco bus. Police are there. It seems they are cordoning the area off. The windows are shattered. The police seem to be looking for bullets."

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 says the shooting has 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."

The MEC and Gauteng Premier David Makhura are expected to meet with the taxi industry, bus operators and commuters in Mamelodi later this morning.

AUTOPAX

At the same time, Autopax says it ha since suspended all of its service in the township and will wait for authorisation from police.

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

Autopax 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."