Two die as gunmen set fire to buses
A passenger and bus driver were shot and killed, a third wounded and 20 other passengers injured as they jumped from burning busses during drive-by shootings on three busses.
The busses were transporting workers at Ndwedwe and Umzinyathi near Inanda, north of Durban, in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The shootings took place within a radius of 5km along the same route.
A father of four, Senzo Ngcobo, who was trapped in the flames, burnt to death after being shot in the back. The bus company has stopped its service along the disputed route.
In all shootings gunmen travelling in a BMW randomly sprayed live bullets at the busses belonging to the Masinqobe Bus Company before setting all vehicles alight.
The attackers came from nowhere and suddenly fired on the busses. The incidents are linked to the ongoing feud between the bus company and taxi operators over fares.
Eye-witnesses said after the shootings the busses stopped. The attackers threw petrol on them and set them alight before driving off.
Bus company director Ndabo Shangase said there had been a dispute between his company and taxi operators since Monday.
Shangase said their BEE bus company was sub-contracted to the government-subsidised KwaZulu-Natal Transport to operate on the route.
MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Bheki Cele said: "We will act harshly against those who disrespect the law and only want to advance their greed by killing innocent passengers. Police are working around the clock to bring all perpetrators to book."
A case of murder, attempted murder and arson is being investigated.
·l In a separate incident shots were fired on a bus as a result of route conflicts between bus and taxi owners at Cato Manor.
There were no deaths or injuries.