Commuters were this week left stranded as bus operators went on a strike in protest against illegal transport operators in the Gaborone-Mochudi route.
The drivers parked their buses at the Gaborone bus rank and ceased offering their services until 12noon.
The demonstration followed the arrest of a bus driver the previous day, who had allegedly assaulted a pirate transport operator.
Speaking to The Voice, the bus conductor who witnessed the arrest said the police forced their way into the bus and arrested the driver.
“The bus windows were broken during the commotion. The police officers just fought with everyone who was in the bus. Their approach was just wrong,” 27-year-old Phemelo Kenathata said.
The bus operators complained that motorist who transport passengers without official permits cost them a lot of business.
Another Mochudi bus driver, Rapula Ntwaagae, revealed that some of the cars used to transport people belong to police officers and transport officials.
“We have recently reported the matter to transport, we even wrote letters expressing our frustration towards people who jeopardize the bus business,” he said.
The concerned bus drivers further said the pirate operators affect their businesses as they have employees to pay monthly yet the business makes less profit.
Commenting on the issue, Kgatleng Bus Operators Association Secretary Moses Sello, said they decided to end the strike after they were summoned to Borakanelo Police.
“Station Commander for Borakanelo police promised to assist with the issue where possible. He said he will revert to us on Monday,” said Sello.
Confirming the incident, Station Commander for Borakanelo Police, Superintendent Mothusi Phadi said on Tuesday, they were told of a seven sitter vehicle that was damaged by an angry mob of bus drivers.
Bus operators strike“Passengers should be aware that traveling in unofficial vehicles can bring them nothing but trouble, and they can sometimes be a target of criminals,” he said.