Two suspects were arrested over the past weekend in Cofimvaba CBD, Chris Hani District, as a result of the South African Police Service’s persistent efforts to put an end to unjustified attacks on Intercape buses that have been occurring in some areas of the Eastern Cape for some time.
The arrests come following many cases of unidentified people attacking Intercape buses in various places throughout the Eastern Cape. Following these incidents, the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene, established the investigating task team and afterwards set up the Tactical Response Teams and Flying Squad members on the national roads to conduct highway patrols during the day and night in order to stop the escalation of these incidents and to protect lives.
The level of occurrences started to show a decline, according to Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana, the police spokesperson, who said that these operational actions had a substantial impact.
“It has been however very difficult to make immediate arrests in some of these cases as the suspects have launched these attacks during the night and in dark and isolated places where there are no houses.
“These challenges did not dampen the spirit of the investigators and forces on the ground. Investigations continued in search of clues and tangible evidence that could lead to the arrest of the criminal element which ambushed buses without trace,” said Kinana.
Two male suspects have been arrested by SAPS detectives as part of continuing investigations into a string of attacks on Intercape buses. The accused, aged 26 and 37, were arrested in Cofimvaba over the weekend of April 29th and 30th, 2023.
They were arrested after allegedly confronting people waiting for the bus at one of Cofimvaba’s fuelling stations. They are accused of assaulting them and robbing them of their possessions during the alleged incident. Following this specific incident, a bus attack between Tsomo and Ngqamakhwe occurred in April 2023, during which commuters were allegedly robbed and assaulted inside the bus.
The investigation is still ongoing to see whether the two suspects can be connected to any other incidents that occurred in other regions of the province. Lieutenant General Mene has sworn to hunt down the faceless muggers of Intercape buses in the Eastern Cape.
“The objective strategies and operational plans put in place to deal with these attacks have started yielding positive results and I need to make it clear that the net is closing in on those who continued to terrorise commuters with violence,” Mene concluded.
On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, the suspects were arraigned at Cofimvaba Magistrate court on charges of assault, robbery, and malicious property damage.