A Golden Arrow Bus (Gabs) commuter who drove passengers to safety, after the driver ran off during a robbery, has been hailed as a hero.
According to a Cape Times report, Ashley Europa took the wheel after the bus driver panicked and ran away while three men robbed passengers at gunpoint last week.
Europa, 24, drove passengers to Town Centre in Mitchells Plain and returned the bus to Golden Arrow.
“It was about 6/7pm when the bus drove from Cape Town via Hanover Park. These guys were in the bus the whole time but no-one knew they were going to rob us. They just started robbing people on the bus. They took money from people. I was the first one who got robbed,” he told the publication.
Europa told The Daily Voice that the one of the robbers asked him to hand over his cellphone while holding a gun. When Europa asked if the gun was real, the robber took out the magazine and showed him the bullets.
“After the robbery, we noticed the driver had run off in the opposite direction,” he told The Daily Voice.
The father of one, who works as a cleaner for a company at the V&A Waterfront, added: “I lied to the people and I said ‘since I was 13 I know how to drive a bus’, but that was just to make them comfortable. I have never driven a bus before, it was the first time. I took everyone to their stops and I drove over to Spine Road to bring the bus back because I live on this side. I couldn’t run in that situation because I didn’t know the place there, I don’t live there.
“We were a lot of people, almost 20 to 30. There was an elderly lady in front. What was I to do in the situation? I wanted to go home, they wanted to get home and the driver was gone.”
Europa said he wished Golden Arrow could give him a job and reimburse him for the items that were stolen from him as he is the breadwinner in his home.
Gabs spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer told the Cape Times a case was registered with the police at Mitchells Plain police station.
“At this stage an investigation is underway into exactly what transpired and what action should be taken. This is an unprecedented situation and a number of factors have to be taken into consideration. Passengers should not under any circumstances, no matter how well-intentioned, attempt to drive a bus,” she said.