|One of the key drivers of Joburg’s Bus Rapid Transit system believes the attack on her home, in which a security guard was shot, could be a warning from the taxi industry.
Rehana Moosajee, the member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for transport, told The Star that her family were extremely traumatised after a guard was shot three times on Thursday night when he confronted four armed men who had managed to break into her home.
Moosajee, who has been instrumental in implementing the new BRT system, said security had been arranged especially for her.
“MMCs don’t normally have security, but in the light of the taxi threats against the BRT, and after intelligence information gathered, the city decided to place two security guards at my home.”
At 12.45pm on Thursday, the Moosajee family were awakened by three gunshots.
“Four armed men, who had a bolt cutter and a crowbar, jumped over the wall and were at the sun room, which is at the entrance to the house. They were confronted by one of the security guards. They shot him in the chin and twice in the leg before escaping,” she said.
Although police were still investigating, and she was reluctant to comment on the motives for the shooting, Moosajee said there were three possible scenarios.
The first was that the men attempted to gain entrance to the house in a robbery and were disturbed by the guards; the second was that word had got out that the family were moving house and that belongings were already packed into boxes; and the third was a warning from the taxi industry.
“However, the whole incident appears to have been too carefully planned, just before the official launch of the BRT during Transport Month, so my gut feel is that this was a warning from the taxi industry,” she said.
The guard was in a stable but critical condition in hospital.
“We are extremely lucky to get away unharmed. The family are extremely traumatised by the incident, especially my children, who were asleep in the house,” she said.
The council has refused to comment in any detail.
Lisa Seftel, City of Joburg executive director of transport, would only confirm the incident and said it was being investigated by police.
Eric Motshwane, spokesman for the Joburg Taxi Council, said he had not spoken to Moosajee personally and could therefore not comment.
“But I don’t think it was anyone from the taxi industry. I believe it was pure criminality,” he said.
Ralph Jones, chairman of the United Taxi Association Forum, who is vociferously opposed to the BRT and has threatened numerous strikes in protest over the BRT, said he had not heard of the attack.
“I am totally shocked. Our association does not condone such action against other human beings, even though our association has been painted in a bad light.
“We cannot speculate on the crime. It could be criminals or some breakaway element of the taxi industry,” he said.