Unions call for improved train security

2012-12-28 14:05
(Duncan Alfreds: News24)

(Duncan Alfreds: News24)

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Johannesburg - Security on trains must be upgraded in the wake of the murder of a train driver in Pretoria, railway-aligned unions said on Friday.

"Armed and professionally trained security guards should have been deployed on these dangerous trains," said union officials in a joint statement.

Train driver JP du Plessis was found stabbed to death in a stationary train outside Hercules station in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said this week that two cellphones had been stolen from the scene of the murder, "possibly by two men who were seen crossing a railway line after the train had stopped".

On Friday, Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) general secretary Dennis George and the United Transport and Allied Workers Union (Utatu) and SA Railworkers Union (Sarwhu) general secretary Steve Harris said that Du Plessis "played a critical role in providing the service of cost-effective public transport for poor communities in Gauteng for the last 17 years".

His killing was "senseless," said George and Harris.

The two unions' general secretaries said that they had called on Metrorail to upgrade security measures in the past, but "it has fallen on deaf ears".

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