Heavy police presence on BRT buses after shooting

Wednesday, September 2, 2009
By: 
Chris Bathembu

Johannesburg - Police maintained a heavy presence on all Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system buses and stations in Soweto on Wednesday morning, following an incident in which two BRT buses were shot at.

One person and a police officer were wounded when occupants of a minibus taxi apparently opened fire on the buses just after 7pm.

Police spokesperson Inspector Kay Makhubela said a heavy police presence would be maintained on all Rea Vaya buses and stations in Soweto as well as in the city centre.

City of Johannesburg spokesperson, Rehana Moosajee, said that security measures had been stepped up and that police were present on all buses, as well as law enforcement vehicles accompanying the buses.

"Please rest assured that we will do everything in our power to ensure a safe journey for everyone using Rea Vaya," Ms Moosajee said.

It is believed the gunmen who shot at the two buses, fled in the direction of the Nancefield Hostel in Soweto prompting overnight raids at the hostel.

Six people were arrested, however, police have not linked them to the incident. "At the moment we are only treating them as suspects and there has been no evidence linking them to the shooting," Inspector Makhubela told BuaNews.

He said two of the men happened to be wanted suspects for murder in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal. Police also recovered two fire-arms and dagga.

The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) has distanced itself from the shooting. It said it condemned the incident in the strongest possible way.

"Yesterday's incident ... does not reflect our position of constructive engagement to resolve the differences. It has never been SANTACO's objective to engage in a disruptive and violent activity as this would defeat the very basis of our argument," the taxi body said in a statement.

It said taxi operators had accepted the court ruling and further accepted SANTACO's view on consultation and constructive engagement.

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