Mbalula loses bid to appeal order compelling him to mitigate attacks on Intercape bus drivers | News24


Intercape CEO Johann Ferreira said the company had endured 150 attacks in the Eastern Cape.

PHOTO: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart

  • Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has lost a court bid to appeal an order compelling him to mitigate Intercape bus driver attacks.
  • The Eastern Cape High Court in Makhanda made the ruling on Tuesday.
  • The company approached the court in September last year asking it to compel Mbalula to finalise a plan with police and the Eastern Cape MEC to mitigate attacks on drivers.

The Eastern Cape High Court in Makhanda has dismissed with costs Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s leave to appeal its earlier order compelling him and Transport and Community Safety MEC Xolile Nqatha to develop a plan of action to mitigate attacks against Intercape bus drivers. 

In a judgment handed down on Tuesday, Judge John Smith said there were no compelling reasons to grant the Department of Transport leave to appeal its order, adding he believed it would not succeed. 

Intercape took the department to court over a spate of attacks, including the shooting and stoning of its buses. The attacks have also restricted its operations in what it called “no-go areas”. 

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On 30 September last year, the court gave the department and Nqatha 20 days to develop the plan. However, the department appealed the order the following month. 

Smith said Mbalula’s withdrawal from the agreement to formulate the plan was surprising, considering cooperative governance was among the pillars of the country’s Constitution.

He added:

He had declared himself willing upon receipt of an invitation to discuss, deliberate, and add the department’s voice in support of such plan of action, which may be needed to address not only the applicant’s concern but also the concerns of all those impacted in the sector by the acts of criminality and violence by competing operators in the sector.

Intercape CEO Johann Ferreira said the company had endured 150 attacks in the Eastern Cape. 

He called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Mbalula with a minister who was “serious about reform” and who would prioritise the challenges the company sought to address.

Ferreira said Police Minister Bheki Cele also needed to take accountability for the police’s failure to resolve the 150 cases reported by his company. 

“We have called on the SAPS to fulfil their function. To date, they have also failed. We intend to follow the same legal approach with Minister Cele as we have done with Minister Mbalula.

“Both have failed in their constitutional obligations, and we are turning to the courts to force them to act,” he added.

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