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Intercape Takes Legal Action Against SAPS and NPA Over Failure to Investigate Criminal Acts

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

South African long-distance transport company, Intercape, is taking legal action against the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), in an attempt to compel these organizations to investigate and prevent an ongoing wave of crimes against Intercape's staff and passengers.

Citing persistent lack of response from the police and no resulting prosecutions despite a substantial number of lodged criminal complaints, Intercape has issued an urgent application to the Gqeberha High Court. The case was heard on Wednesday, with parties accused including the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, the National Commissioner of SAPS, five provincial police commissioners, the National Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Hawks, a major crime investigation unit.

Intercape is seeking legal direction for the SAPS, calling attention to their alleged failure to fulfil their constitutional duties. According to court documents, Intercape claims to have suffered from years of widespread intimidation and violence, predominantly from members of the taxi industry.

Throughout 2022, 23 cases of Intercape buses being fired upon have been reported, and the ongoing violence has already resulted in troubling casualties, including the fatal injury of a bus driver and multiple passengers hospitalised due to gunshot wounds.

Intercape perceives these acts of violence as systematic, blaming taxi operators for a pattern of intimidation and organised crime. They allege these industry members work to limit bus competition in certain regions, thus securing monopolies in the transportation sector.

In reaction to these accusations, the SAPS Respondents contested them on several fronts, a development Intercape interprets as a consistent misunderstanding and deflection of their responsibility in addressing the safety issues faced by long-distance transport providers.

As legal proceedings continue, judgement in the case is presently reserved awaiting the final court decision.

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