-Edited by Bev Mortimer- Two suspects were arrested this past long weekend in South Africa on charges of attacks on buses, and assault and robbery of passengers, in Cofimvaba in the Chris Hani District of the Eastern Cape.
The arrest of the men on charges relating to assault, robbery and malicious damage to property, follows several attacks on Intercape busses by unknown men who ambushed busses without trace in the Eastern Cape.
The suspects allegedly confronted passengers waiting for a bus at a petrol station in Cofimvaba, then assaulted and robbed them of their belongings. And in one case, passengers were allegedly assaulted and robbed while on the bus travelling between Tsomo and Ngqamakhwe villages.
The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli established an investigating task team and deployed Tactical Response Teams and Flying Squad members on national roads to conduct highway patrols day and night to prevent escalation of these incidents and to protect lives.
Three such operations led to a decrease of incidents but it was difficult initially for the SAPS to find the bus attackers and arrest them . However, continued investigations in search of clues and tangible evidence made a significant difference as the level of incidents and led the SAPS to arrest two suspects.
Lieutenant General Mene has vowed to eradicate the unknown muggers of Intercape busses everywhere in the Eastern Cape. “The objective strategies and operational plans put in place to deal with these attacks have yielded positive results . I need to make it clear the net is closing on those who continue to terrorise commuters with violence,” Lt Gen Mene added.
The arrested suspects are expected in Cofimvaba Magistrate court today.