Another Golden Arrow bus was held up on Monday morning [March 9] and passengers aboard were robbed. This comes just two days after another driver was shot in the mouth in Khayelitsha on Friday, March 5.
A passenger named Janet Aamina James, who was on the bus at the time, explained to the Cape Argus that she had boarded the bus that was coming via Rocklands to get to the CBD.
“We were driving past Samora Machel in Philippi, and as it went over the bridge I heard a commotion behind me. I turned and saw four guys, two wearing white T-shirts, one wearing a Kentucky jacket and the other in blue shorts,” she told the news outlet.
James and another witness named Andy Peterson explained that two of the robbers were armed with guns, and stood in front by the driver side and ordered everyone to give their money and cellphones to the other two robbers who were walking through the bus. Thereafter, they got off the bus and fled.
“At approximately 10am on Monday morning, our operating tower was alerted to a robbery which had just taken place. The robbery took place on Jakes Gerwel in the vicinity of Samora Machel and was perpetrated by four unknown assailants who had posed as passengers on a bus travelling from Town Centre,” confirmed Golden Arrow Bus spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer.
“After the robbery, the bus driver proceeded to Philippi SAPS for further assistance. Philippi SAPS offered trauma counselling and assistance to (the) passengers involved. We then assisted the passengers home after their details were recorded.”
The bus service has been subject to various attacks in 2021. There have been seven Golden Arrow bus robberies in the last few weeks alone.
In early February, Cosatu provincial secretary Malvern de Bruyn said the trade union federation met with management from the bus service and nothing has been done to protect commuters.
“The fact that nothing has been done to assist those commuters who were traumatised because of the muggings due to crimes happening in their buses is disappointing,” he told the Cape Argus.
Dyke-Beyer also told the Cape Argus at the time that Golden Arrow is working on creating a safer environment for their passengers.
“We have increasingly been dedicating time and resources to the issue and are hopeful that this will make a difference, and we have seconded a senior manager to a newly created portfolio which will deal only with safety on buses in terms of both our response and coordinating a response from the police and other law enforcement,” she told the news outlet.
Picture: CapeTownetc gallery