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Intercape bus driver shot dead as violence against long-distance buses escalates

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An Intercape bus driver has died in a Cape Town hospital after being shot outside the company’s depot as violence against long-distance buses escalates around the country.

The fatality was followed by attacks on the long-distance bus operator’s fleet in Gauteng.

Intercape said Bangikhaya Machana, 35, was shot on Monday leaving the Intercape depot in Airport Industrial, Cape Town to pick up passengers.

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“A total of 21 rounds were fired and he was struck three times. He was rushed to hospital where he died on Thursday,” the company said, adding that in a previous similar incident outside the depot another bus driver was shot but survived.

The company said the attacks came days after it went public about a “violent campaign waged against the industry by rogue taxi associations”.

Intercape chief executive operation Johann Ferreira has condemned the attacks.

He said:

We could no longer keep quiet about the extortion and violence directed at Intercape and the long-distance coach industry in this country. We made a public appeal to President Ramaphosa and the government, and this has since resulted in an escalation of attacks against Intercape coaches over these last two days.

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“Intercape, one of the industry’s largest and longest-standing companies, appealed to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the government to urgently intervene to stop the violence directed at the long-distance coach industry,” the company said.

“A 35-year-old Intercape bus driver died in a Cape Town hospital on Thursday days after being shot and critically wounded outside the company’s depot.

“In the space of just 13 months, there have been over 150 recorded violent incidents, a number of which have led to serious injuries to employees and passengers of the bus operators in the long-distance coach industry.”

The company said assailants in a car opened fire on one of its buses, which was travelling from Pretoria to Mthatha, on the M2 in Johannesburg just after 7pm on Thursday.

“A total of three shots were fired into the driver’s side of the coach, with the final shot narrowly missing the driver,” said the statement.

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