Three Golden Arrow busses petrol-bombed in Nyanga, Cape Town
Golden Arrow has confirmed three of its buses have been petrol bombed in Nyanga. The bus company's Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said that the attacks happened earlier on Thursday morning, 25 August 2022. "A little while ago on Govan Mbeki and Ems Drive, three of our busses were targeted and attacked with petrol bombs. Fortunately, our drivers managed to get our busses to safety and clear the passengers before the busses. Jermaine Carelse, spokesperson at the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service, said, “The incident was reported just before 09h30 of Golden Arrow busses alight at the Nyanga Bus Terminus.”
Carelse add, “Mitchells Plain Fire Station responded with a fire engine and a water tanker, Wynberg Fire Station with a water tanker and Gugulethu Fire Station with a fire engine. The command was closed at 10h33. A total of three Golden Arrow busses were completely destroyed and three motor vehicles damaged.”
“Challenges faced: The area was volatile and the construction of the busses created an intense scenario for the crews”, said Carelse.
Safety and security Mayco member JP Smith said the violence erupted after City officials began conducting an integrated enforcement operation involving public sector vehicle traffic officials.
Alderman Smith said that City officials had impounded 21 Amaphelas and two taxis in terms of the National Land Transport Act, 19 for operating without valid permits.
Thereafter, a group of unidentified suspects allegedly launched petrol bombs at Golden Arrow buses, private cars and a truck belonging to the City’s urban mobility directorate.
Four Golden Arrow busses were completely burnt out in the attacks and costs attached to the loss could run up to R10 million, according to Golden Arrow, who said their busses were reportedly carrying passengers at the time of the incidents.
Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said one driver was badly injured. Witnesses said several passengers that were on board the busses at the time of the attacks were also injured, including a young woman who broke her leg as she scrambled out of one of the burning buses.
Speaking to the Cape Argus, she said: “I don’t even know what sparked that chaotic showdown. One minute we were in busses and the next stones were raining against the windows. I was rushing out and I saw busses on fire.”
While the Amaphela (non-fixed route) taxis fall under the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA), the association said it was also shocked to learn of the altercation between the City and Amaphela drivers.
“Public Order Police, supported by Nyanga SAPS and Metro Police were monitoring the situation in the Nyanga area where several busses and vehicles were set alight. SAPS deployment will remain in the area until calm has been restored,” reported the South African Police Service.
Following the attacks, Nyanga has now been declared a no-go area and some services to the community placed on temporary hold.
Sources: Jermaine Carelse, spokesperson, City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service, African News Agency (ANA), The Cape Argus