Two people were seriously injured and 27 others escaped fairly unscathed after protesters lobbed stones and petrol bombs at a passing Algoa bus in Motherwell yesterday morning.
The incident comes in the wake of ongoing protests throughout the week on the Addo Road, M17 and N2 area near Motherwell.
The Algoa Bus Company vehicle was attacked at about 7am on the Addo Road in Motherwell, close to the N2, by protesters who targeted passing vehicles.
Earlier this week, cars travelling on the N2 were pelted with stones and petrol bombs, with one vehicle catching alight and being gutted.
Due to the violent nature of the attacks, police top brass announced on Tuesday that additional resources were being deployed to the Bay.
About 10 cases, ranging from public violence to damage of roads and burning of vehicles, are under investigation by police.
Motherwell Police Station commander Brigadier Ernie Neveling appealed to residents to come forward with information on the culprits.
“These people have attacked the very residents who live next to them, alongside them and in the same suburb with them.
“It could have been their family, relatives, neighbours or friends inside that bus,” Neveling said.
“We urge residents who know who the culprits are to come forward before other attacks like this occur which could lead to a more serious end result.”
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said of the 47 commuters on the bus, 27 sustained slight injuries and two others were seriously injured.
Both of the seriously injured people sustained burn wounds and one possibly broke her neck in a fall while she was trying to climb out of a window in the bus. She was still undergoing tests. Beetge said that passengers on the bus told how stones and petrol bombs were hurled at them, prompting the driver to slam on brakes.
“The bus came to a stop about 15m from where protesters started pelting items at the bus.
“The petrol bombs hit the outside of the bus, [causing] flames to cover the entire bus and prompting the driver to stop,” Beetge said.
“The stones that hit the windows resulted in the glass shattering. Panicked commuters attempted to scramble out of the bus, some pushing out the already broken windows and climbing out.”
The two seriously injured people were still in hospital late yesterday.
“If and when they are discharged, they might open cases of attempted murder,” Beetge said.