Taximen blamed for ambushes

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The owners of buses that were ambushed in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal have accused local taxi operators as the attackers.

Three buses belonging to Imbali Yezwe Transport were ambushed yesterday morning . This brought to eight the number of buses attacked in a week.

Two buses were ambushed at Sinathingi and the third in Willowfontein within 30 minutes of each other.

Superintendent Joshua Gwala said one driver, Dumsani Mbanjwa, 39, was shot in the right shoulder.

"One bus was travelling on the tar road and the other on the adjacent gravel road when both were ambushed by a group of unknown gunmen who suddenly fired shots," Gwala said.

He said the gunmen fled in three cars. .

Alpheus Ndlela, the bus company spokesman, said the problem started three months ago.

"The Emgodini community demanded our buses to transport them, but we asked them to speak to local taxi people," he said. After a few days the community returned with a letter signed by taxi operators saying they had no problem with buses operating.

"As soon as we sent our buses there, taxi operators chased them away, but the community prevented taxis from operating.

"We held a meeting with the police and it was agreed that both modes of transport would operate freely," Ndlela said.

He said that on Thursday a bus was attacked by taxi operators, who said it was crippling their business.

"They assaulted the driver and stoned our bus. On Friday, four buses were attacked."

Taxi operators could not be reached for comment yesterday.