Torching of trains 'an attack on poor'

2012-03-01 14:45
Johannesburg - The torching of six trains in Gauteng by striking workers was an attack on the poor and working class, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) said on Thursday.

The damage caused was estimated at R38m.

Prasa CEO Mosenngwa Mofi said five people had been arrested.

Three of them had been caught vandalising critical safety infrastructure, he said, adding that this kind of intentional sabotage endangered commuters' lives.

Arson


The trains were set alight on Wednesday night at New Canada, the Braamfontein yard and the Elandsfontein yard in Leralla.

"There is no doubt this was an act of arson orchestrated by striking [railway] workers," Mofi said.

"[They] have elected to resort to criminal conduct, which follows very closely on the heels of threats made by the striking workers that they will torch trains."

Mofi said some strike leaders had been dismissed for fraud, theft and non-performance.

"We call on the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) to do the right thing and deal severely with those of their members who have been party to this heinous crime."

Satawu spokesperson Rea Molopyane said union leadership would meet on Thursday to discuss the issue.

"There is a lot more to this than just blaming the union and individuals," she said.

"We will issue a statement once we have had an opportunity to properly investigate and discuss the matter."

- SAPA
Read more on:    prasa  |  satawu  |  johannesburg  |  fires  |  transport  |  strikes
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