Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) appealed to the community to avoid spreading unverified information after two busses caught alight at its Depot in Blackheath on Thursday morning.
Spokesperson Bronwyn Dyke Beyer explains that forensic investigations are underway, but preliminary results show that it was not a case of arson. The fire started on one bus and spread to the other. Metro police spokesperson Ruth Solomons earlier confirmed that SAPS will be looking into the matter and that there were no signs of protestors or “suspicious activity”.
“The Officers responded and found two busses completely engulfed in flames. These were the two busses which was stationary nearest to the boundary wall. The Officers investigated and found no signs of protesters or suspicious activity in and around the facility. It is unclear at this point in time as to how these busses ignited. A case will be registered at the South African Police Services for further investigation.”
South Africans have been left on tenterhooks over the past few days as rampant looting and riots continue to gain momentum in several provinces. Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng have been worst hit as delivery of basic food and services begin to fall short, while violence also spilled into Mpumalanga and eSwatini.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde reiterated the call to avoid fear-mongering on social media. A post which begun doing the rounds on social media last night, claimed that “riot protestors” were preparing to target seven shopping malls namely; Capricorn centre, Blue Route mall, Maynard mall, Kenilworth mall, Cavendish square, Parow centre and Lansdowne corner mall. Winde said this is fake news, reassuring residents that police presence at hotspots has been increased, contingency measures are in place in the event of any attempted criminality and all stakeholders remain on high alert.
Dyke-Beyer said no one was injured and the investigators will pin point the exact cause of the fire. She further urged the public to only pass on verified information.
“We would like to ask that members of the public please refrain from spreading fake news from unverified sources. This just causes panic and can lead to actual incidents of vandalism as seen in other provinces. We are operating our full services but are working closely with the authorities. Now, more than ever, we need to get people to vaccine centres,” said Dyke-Beyer.
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