Durban – An alleged route dispute between mini-bus and bus associations in the Newlands West area has claimed the life of a bus driver last night.
The driver, Sarvesh Gopichand,23, had passengers on board when a gunman stepped onto the roadway near Jackcastle Avenue in Newlands West and began shooting at the bus.
The 23-year-old driver collapsed on the bus bonnet from gunshot wounds. A source said his conductor had steered the bus and pulled the handbrake switch saving the bus from colliding into nearby homes.
Shawn Herbst, a Netcare 911 spokesperson, said the bullets struck the driver in the chest and died at the scene.
Captain Nqobile Gwala, a police spokesperson, said the driver sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the body.
A case of murder was opened at Newlands East police station.
Violence between the two modes of transport has escalated since October 2018. In March 2019, four buses were petrol bombed, on separate occasions, in Newlands West.
In November the eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) issued a statement saying it was aware of this matter and together with KZN Department of Transport and various law enforcement agencies they have been dealing with this matter to calm the tension and restore normal public transport.
The ETA said the conflict is about the competition for passengers between taxis and privately owned / unsubsidised bus operators.