BRT ATTACK SURVIVOR PRAYED AS BULLETS HIT

INTENSICE CARE: Violet Makgare says she's just grateful to be alive. Pic: Penwell Dlamini. 01/05/2010. © Sowetan.
INTENSICE CARE: Violet Makgare says she's just grateful to be alive. Pic: Penwell Dlamini. 01/05/2010. © Sowetan.

VIOLET Makgare, who has a bullet lodged in her spine after the BRT bus she was travelling in was attacked in Soweto on Friday, says it is a miracle she is alive.

VIOLET Makgare, who has a bullet lodged in her spine after the BRT bus she was travelling in was attacked in Soweto on Friday, says it is a miracle she is alive.

One person died and nine were injured when two BRT buses were shot at in two separate incidents in Soweto. Those injured include a bus driver and a metro cop.

Yesterday she described to Sowetanhow she called on other passengers to pray with her as bullets ripped through the bus.

She is now recovering in an intensive care unit in hospital.

"When it was all quiet, I touched my back and I discovered I was wet. I looked at my hand and saw blood. I knew I had been hit," Makgare said.

She said she was travelling t home in Klipspruit from work when she suddenly heard gunshots when the bus passed through Orlando West at around 6.30pm.

Speaking to Sowetan from her hospital bed, Makgare said she heard loud gunfire and tried to hide by kneeling on the floor.

"But the bus was too full, I could not find space to hide.

"There was chaos as people fell over each other, one could hear loud screams after the sound of every bullet. I told them to stop screaming and pray but no one heard my call."

She said all she could think of during the mayhem was her daughter Mbali and grandsons Nkosinathi and Ofentse.

She said while the gunshots continued, the driver kept on driving until reaching Orlando Stadium.

"When we arrived at the stadium, I saw a bullet hole next to my seat and checked my back only to find that I had been shot and bleeding.

"I later realised that the woman who was seated next to me was also wounded."

But Makgare still believes BRT is a good mode of transport.

"But at the moment I don't know whether I will ride the bus again or not.

"BRT is good and efficient I don't know why this is happening.

"I'm just grateful to God that I'm alive," said Makgare.

Today Makgare is scheduled to see a bone specialist, who will examine her condition.

Police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said no one had been arrested but that investigations were under way.

"The deceased passenger's next of kin have not been informed of his death yet. Three of those injured have already been discharged from hospital."

Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said the injured cop was still in hospital.

"The officer was in one of the buses when it was shot at. He is being treated and we do not know when he will be discharged."

Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Bheki Nkosi condemned the attack.

"BRT is here to stay and plans to expand its services to all corners where required will continue despite hired hands that are paid to destabilise the process."

The next phase of BRT is scheduled to be launched in Soweto today.

X