The recent arrest of two suspects linked to the spate of attacks on Intercape buses in the Eastern Cape province is a step towards curbing the problem. However, more needs to be done as over 160 incidents of attacks on Intercape buses have been reported in the area causing great inconvenience and fear for passengers and bus drivers alike.
Intercape Calls for Government Intervention
Intercape, the bus company, has sued Police Minister, Bheki Cele, claiming a failure to implement a safety plan to prevent its buses from being attacked. The company has called on the South African Government to intervene and prevent further attacks.
Positive Developments and Operational Initiatives
The arrest of the two suspects facing charges of assault, robbery, and malicious property damage is a positive development. In addition, the Eastern Cape Police Commissioner established an investigating task team and deployed Tactical Response Teams and Flying Squad members on national roads to prevent the escalation of incidents and to protect lives. These operational initiatives have had a positive impact, reducing incidents.
Investigations Continue Despite Challenges
Immediate arrests in some cases have been brutal as the suspects have launched attacks during the night and in isolated places. Yet, despite these challenges, investigations have continued searching for clues and tangible evidence that could lead to the arrest of the criminal element which ambushed buses without a trace.
Concerns About Safety of Public Transport
The recent series of attacks on Intercape buses has raised concerns about public transport safety. As a result, the police commissioner has vowed to eradicate the faceless muggers of Intercape buses across the Eastern Cape. However, whether these arrests deter other criminals from targeting Intercape buses remains to be seen.
Need for Effective Safety Plan
Until the South African Government implements an effective safety plan, this problem is likely to persist. The safety and security of passengers and bus drivers should be a top priority for the government, and concerted efforts should be made to ensure they can travel safely and without fear in any part of the country.
The recent arrests of two suspects are a positive step towards curbing the problem of attacks on Intercape buses in the Eastern Cape. However, more needs to be done, and the South African Government needs to intervene and implement an effective safety plan to prevent further attacks. The safety and security of passengers and bus drivers should be a top priority.