Children hang from buses

Abduraghiem Jonkers, 1, grazed his face against the pavement.

Calls from Tafelsig community workers and residents warning youth not to hang on Golden Arrow buses have fallen on deaf ears.

This new fad has youth, aged between 10 and 17, jump onto buses during evening peak hour, when they turn into Piketberg Road.

Golden Arrow Buses (GABS) corporate affairs executive John Dammert said children were hanging onto the Scania buses, only in the Mitchell’s Plain area, since all Scanias were at their Philippi depot.

“We recently did a blitz, with the help of SAPS and apprehended three youngsters,” he said.

Mr Dammert said the minors were taken to their parents.

He said GABS had not threatened to remove services from the area.

“SAPS is not able to provide escorts due to resource constraints but when they have an available vehicle, we do get assistance,” he said.

Norman Adonis, chairman of Mitchell’s Plain community police forum’s Tafelsig sub-forum, said the matter had been raised during a public meeting on Monday January 21.

“I spoke to (the youth). I warned them that they might get hurt. As julle sterf sal julle ouers vir Golden Arrow blameer,” he said.

“Parents must know where their children are and what they are doing,” he said.

Mr Adonis said keeping the community safe was part of the CPF’s mandate and that watching children put themselves in harm’s way was just wrong.

“I’ve asked community members to speak to the parents, who just get rude and defend their children,” he said.

The meeting also dealt with children throwing stones at each other (“Teens call a truce”, Plainsman, January 23).

Sergeant Jerome Voegt, Mitchell’s Plain police station spokesman, said they were aware of sporadic stone throwing in Tafelsig, specifically in Piketberg Street.

He confirmed that SAPS was not escorting any buses in Mitchell’s Plain.

“We are conducting visible policing patrols in Tafelsig and in all areas of Mitchell’s Plain,” he said.

“We can also confirm that the CPF has intervened to bring normality among the youth in the area,” he said.

Mitchell’s Plain police is investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving after a man standing on the pavement in Piketberg Road, Tafelsig, was knocked down by a Golden Arrow bus.

Johnny Ruiters was helping one-year-old Abduraghiem Jonker with his sucker, when the bus mounted the curb on Thursday February 7.

The boy’s mother, Amaarah Jonker, 28, was just ahead of them at the shop, when she saw a teenager hanging from the bus.

“The bus just came over a speed bump and drove onto the pavement,” she said.

“Brother (Mr Ruiters) fell over Abduraghiem, and we quickly got his legs out of the way because the bus’s back wheels, could have driven over him,” she said.

Sergeant Voegt confirmed that a case was being investigated.

“It is alleged that a bus driver knocked a pedestrian from the pavement at about 6.20pm,” he said.

He said the investigation was still ongoing.

Mr Ruiters ran after the bus, which picked up speed, and he could not run further, which is when he noted the registration number.

He was still in pain and
had returned to the day hospital on Friday February 15 and yesterday Tuesday February 19, Mr Ruiters told the Plainsman. Abduraghiem’s face was grazed during the fall.

Mr Ruiters gave the bus registration number to the toddler’s grandmother Laaiquah Goodman, who ensured her grandson and Mr Ruiters were taken to Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre (CHC) that evening and reported the accident to the police on Friday February 8.

Last week she received forms from Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) to report the accident to the Road Accident Fund.

“My klein kind kan dood gewees het. I just want them to investigate the matter,” she said.

Ms Goodman said days before the accident, she had seen young boys hanging on the buses during peak hour traffic. Ms Goodman said she had tried to warn the boys but they would not listen.

Tafelsig resident Melissa Kok also said a child had been hanging from the bus’s rear view mirror, when it road over the speed hump and mounted the pavement.

She said every evening during peak hour traffic young children ran, jumped and hung on the bus like it was a game.

Mr Dammert said the individual must lodge a claim with the RAF in respect of any injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

“The company can assist the family by providing the necessary forms and guidance as to how to lodge the claim with the RAF,” he said.

He said the public could report incidents by calling their toll-free hotline 080 065 6463, their 24-hour control centre 021 937 8827 or email to complaints@gabs.co.za.