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You'll pay for attacks on BRT

By Vusi Ndlovu and Sapa | Sep 03, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

TAXI operators will be held responsible for any damage to property and injury resulting from attacks on buses, Gauteng provincial government said yesterday.

"The attacks were clearly incited by public statements and threats of violence made by leaders of some taxi associations," spokesperson Thabo Masebe said after an executive council meeting chaired by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, pictured, in Johannesburg.

The council called on taxi operators to stop inciting violence against the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, and noted that this was happening in areas like Alexandra, Ekurhuleni and Atteridgeville in Pretoria, Masebe said.

A police officer and a passenger were in a stable condition in hospital after a bus they were travelling on was shot at by gunmen in a Toyota Quantum in Soweto on Tuesday evening.

In a bid to arrest the attackers, police spent five hours raiding the Nancefield Hostel, located next to the road where the shooting happened.

Six men were arrested. Two of those arrested were sought for murder in KwaZulu-Natal, two were found in possession of unlicensed firearms and two were found with dagga.

By last night, both the taxi and BRT services were running normally with no disruptions reported.

United Taxi Association Forum, who have been vocal against BRT, also expressed their disappointment with the attack. Spokesperson Ralph Jones said: "We condemn the attack in the strongest possible terms. This action is unacceptable and perpetrators should be brought to book."

Soweto Taxi Services chairperson Mhlabuzile Hadebe said: "We were shocked by the incident, and we are prepared to work with police in finding the solution."


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