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2023-05-02 at 13:34 #402758Nat QuinnKeymaster
Persistent efforts by the South African Police Service in the Eastern Cape to bring an end to unwarranted attacks on Intercape busses which has been going on for some time in areas of the Province, have paid dividends as two suspects were arrested over the past weekend in Cofimvaba CBD, Chris Hani District.
The arrests follow after several incidents of attacks on Intercape busses by unidentified suspects in various districts in the Eastern Cape.
Subsequent to these incidents, the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene established the investigating task team and further deployed the Tactical Response Teams and Flying Squad members on the national roads to conduct highway patrols during the day and night time to prevent the escalation of these incident and to protect lives.
These operational initiatives made a significant difference and impact as the level of incidents began to show a decrease.
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 busses without trace.
As part of ongoing investigations, the SAPS detectives arrested two male suspects believed to be linked to the spate of attacks on Intercape busses.
The suspects aged between 26 and 37 were arrested on weekend of the 29 and 30 April 2023 in Cofimvaba.
Their arrest came after they allegedly confronted people who were waiting for the bus in one of the filling stations in Cofimvaba. During the incident, they allegedly assaulted and robbed them of their belongings. This particular incident was followed by an attack on the bus in April 2023 between Tsomo and Ngqamakhwe, during which commuters were allegedly robbed and assaulted in the bus.
The investigation continues to establish if the two suspects cannot be linked to other incident which took place in other parts of the province. The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene has vowed to eradicate the faceless muggers of the Intercape busses everywhere 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,” Lt Gen Mene concluded
The arrested suspects are expected in Cofimvaba Magistrate court on Tuesday 2 May 2023, on charges relating to assault, robbery and malicious damage to property.
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