Two women were shot and killed during a robbery along the N1 road, on a cross-border bus headed to Zimbabwe in the early hours of Thursday. One other woman was injured. No arrests have been made but the hunt for the suspects continues

The three attackers reportedly pretended to be passengers and boarded the Harare-bound bus at Bosman in Pretoria, said Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

The bus, which belongs to the Copperbelt Bus Company, left Pretoria just after 1am on Thursday, and as it passed the Mantsole weighbridge on the N1, one of the gunmen shot through the windscreen, forcing the driver to pull over, Mojapelo said.

“The other suspects shot three women, instantly killing two and critically injuring the other. All other passengers were then ordered to disembark and lie on the ground. They were thereafter robbed of their belongings, including cash, cellphones and passports. The suspects were thereafter allegedly picked up by another motor vehicle that was following the bus.”

The bus had been carrying more than 80 passengers.

One of the passengers told SABC News the gunshots had come from a car that had been tailing the bus.

The passenger, who identified himself as Daniel, said: “It was 3am, we had just passed the Mantsole weighbridge… All of a sudden we had gunshots coming from the car which had been following the bus. Two other gunmen who had posed as passengers then walked up to the bus driver, demanding he stops the bus. After the bus stopped the armed driver from the car which had been tailing the bus came into the bus. And together with the other two men who were already on the bus, demanded everyone’s phones, money and valuables…”

The women who were killed “were randomly shot at” but had cooperated with the gunmen.

A search for the suspects was launched on Thursday but no arrests have been made yet.