Taxi companies prevented grieving family members from attending the funeral of a slain Intercape bus driver in the Eastern Cape on Friday.
Bangikhaya Machana, 35, was shot dead outside the Intercape depot in Cape Town on April 25. He died three days later at Tygerberg Hospital.
Intercape provided a bus to take more than 50 members of the extended Machana family and friends from Cape Town to the driver’s hometown of Idutywa, where his funeral was to be held on Saturday.
Johann Ferreira, CEO of Intercape, said that when the bus pulled into Idutywa, it was chased away and went to a police station to unload passengers.
“The taxis followed them and one of our drivers went to the police station for help. The police didn’t want to come out to help,” Ferreira said.
At this point, out of “concerns for the safety and well-being of family members,” the bus drove to Mthatha, more than 80 km away.
The bus finally returned to Idutywa on Friday afternoon under a police escort after Intercape requested the provincial commanders to intervene.
Ferreira said: “These taxi operators have absolutely no shame to stop and a grieving family from visiting their hometown to bury a son, husband and father so cruelly taken from them.”
A memorial service for Machana was held Tuesday at the company’s depot at Industria Airport in Cape Town. The driver leaves behind a wife and two daughters, aged 3 and 6.
In a statement on Saturday, Intercape said the latest incident has prompted renewed calls to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Police and Transport Minister Bheki Cele and Fikile Mbalula to respond to the crisis in the long-distance bus industry.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa has not uttered a single word, although we have written to him asking for urgent action from the police or transport ministers about the ongoing attacks and intimidation against Intercape and the long-distance bus industry.”
Ferreira said that Intercape has had more than 150 violent incidents over the past 13 months, many of which result in injuries directed at employees and vehicles.< /p>
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