A driver of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vehicle which delivers learners to school in Limpopo was shot dead at Mukula village in the Vhembe District by an unknown assailant.
The 42-year-old driver was doing his early morning errand of picking up the different learners on Wednesday when he was ambushed and killed.
The gunman emerged from bushes and opened fire at the vehicle which was carrying the children, according to Vongani Chauke, spokesperson for Limpopo MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Florence Radzilani.
“According to police reports, a scholar transport driver was shot dead, in the morning of Wednesday, November 22, as he was collecting learners to school. An unknown gunman pounced out of the bushes and started firing shots at the driver, while he was picking another learner,” said Chauke.
He said learners escaped through the vehicle’s windows as the gunshots rang out.
“Out of panic, the learners started flying out of the windows, and sustained injuries in the process,” said Chauke.
Meanwhile, MEC Radzilani has expressed shock at the brazen crime, involving “innocent children” who were on their way to school, during an examination period.
“The MEC has held discussions with the SAPS (SA Police Service) Limpopo provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe regarding this callous crime, and the commissioner has assured her that the matter is receiving the necessary urgent attention and the police are working around the clock to find the perpetrator,” said Chauke.
Anyone with information that can assist the police, are urged to contact the Crime Stop number 086-001-0111, their nearest police station, or to share the information on My SAPS App.
Meanwhile, spokesperson for the SAPS in Limpopo, Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said Thohoyandou SAPS are investigating the brutal murder of the driver.
“According to information at our disposal, the police received information regarding the shooting incident along Mukula Public Tarmac Road. Upon arrival with emergency services personnel, they discovered a Sprinter minibus parked on the side of the road, presumably carrying school learners,” said Mashaba.
“A male victim was found in the driver's seat with gunshot wounds. While the learners were scattered on the ground. Some were taken to the nearest hospital for trauma, while others were treated at the scene.”
Mashaba said the learners told police that they heard gunshots after the minibus had stopped to pick up a fellow learner.
Some learners then jumped out of the vehicle as it was moving away.
“The suspect fled into the bushes and was not identified, since it was still dark,” said Mashaba.
“The male victim was certified dead at the scene and was identified by his family as Rudzani Rambani, 42. About six empty cartridges were found inside the minibus. The motive behind the shooting is unknown at this stage.”
Police are investigating a case of murder.