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Intercape bus passengers robbed after bus breaks down near Pietermaritzburg

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Passengers on an Intercape bus were robbed by four gunmen in Pietermaritzburg after it broke down.

“I could not sleep after the terrifying ordeal.”

This is how Lungi Shezi from KwaZulu-Natal felt after she and fellow passengers were accosted by gunmen when the Intercape bus they were travelling in broke down on the R56 Richmond Road, near France township in Pietermaritzburg, on Thursday.

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Shezi, who was travelling to Gqeberha from Pietermaritzburg, said the bus was carrying passengers from Durban and Pietermaritzburg as far as Cape Town.

Barely 15km from the Pietermaritzburg stop, the bus experienced mechanical failure.

Read also: Intercape bus driver shot, loses control of bus and crashes on N2 near Cape Town

“We had to contend with sitting on the side of the road in the heat. A mechanic who came to fix the bus had no luck. Another bus was commissioned,” said Shezi.

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The gunmen pounced when luggage was being transferred from one coach to the other.

They demanded cellphones and valuables from the passengers.

Despite them obliging, a shot was fired.

“This frightened all of us,” said Shezi.

The gunmen then fled.

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“These were young guys. I doubt any of them were above the age of 30. They carried guns as if they were brandishing sticks,” said Shezi.

The incident came just days after Shezi buried a family member who was killed in a gunfight in Mariannhill at the weekend.

“I literally thought this was my last day on earth considering what had happened to my family member the previous week. I thought I too would die through the barrel of the gun,” said Shezi.

The bus driver then drove passengers to the nearest police station where they reported the matter.

Intercape confirmed that a bus that was carrying 39 passengers and two crew from Durban to Cape Town had suffered mechanical problems.

“We express our concern over this criminal incident and are working with the relevant authorities.”

Intercape said it was in contact with the affected passengers.

Police spokesperson Const Thenjiswa Ngcobo said Thornville police were investigating a case of robbery. – TimesLIVE

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