CHAOS AS MOB GOES BERSERK
Fifteen people were arrested in connection with violence and the torching of more than 30 Putco buses in KwaMhlanga yesterday.
The southbound lane of the Moloto road in KwaMhlanga was reopened late yesterday afternoon, Gauteng police said.
Spokesman Johannes Jafta said police arrested 15 protesters and breakdown trucks were used to remove the damaged buses from the road.
The protesters blocked the R573 at about 7am yesterday after bus ticket sellers failed to sell tickets in KwaMhlanga at the weekend.
This left hundreds of commuters stranded.
Traffic started moving again after hours of violent actions by irate commuters.
"The people were arrested for burning and vandalising the 30 buses near the Putco bus depot," Jafta said.
Putco arranged alternative transport for the KwaMhlanga commuters, said MpumalangaTshwane transport forum spokesman Moses Masombuka.
"The protesters were transported to work and others to their homes," Masombuka said.
One of the commuters, Mandla Mthembu, 38, said commuters were fed up with the way Putco operated in the area.
"We were angry when the bus tickets were not sold," he said. "Some of us didn't go to work. Putco is unreliable and we don't have other means of transport."
Putco spokesman Matlakala Mothwa said: "Our new ticket sellers were intimidated by unknown men when they were selling tickets and we wanted to protect them."
She said the damaged buses would cost the company R20 million to repair.
The 15 arrested people are expected to appear in the Cullinan magistrate's court tomorrow on charges of arson and malicious damage to property. - Sapa