The chilling words triggered panic among those who heard the threat.
Another commuter said she had been threatened that both she and her son – who was with her at the time – would get killed “on the spot”.
“[They told me], ride the bus [and] the gangsters they will shoot you now,” the petrified woman said.
“They said until they [taxi drivers] give us the go-ahead, we will not be allowed to ride the new buses.”
The woman said this shortly after she had run up to another woman walking towards the bus and yanked her back, saying that the “gangsters” would shoot her if she boarded the bus.
“There was an elderly lady that nearly got on – she was saying the bus [ride] was free and she was adamant she was getting on.
“I grabbed her, yelling ‘hey, look, we’ve just been told [by the men] that we are going to get shot by gangsters if we get on the buses,” the first woman said.
The witnesses said that, in the end, no one boarded the buses.
“Both buses left empty,” one of them said.
“People were too scared and some ran away, getting as much distance between themselves and the men.
“But some were forced to get into the taxis [that were parked nearby].”
While IPTS operator Spectrum Alert brushed off yesterday’s incident as “a hoax”, IPTS head of security Thomas Ruiters said there would be heightened security on the buses from today, as well as along the route to ensure commuter safety.
Spectrum Alert chief executive