Metrorail offers R50 000 to catch arsonists

By Drum Digital
06 March 2013

Metrorail offered a reward on Wednesday for information leading to the prosecution of the people who torch its trains.

"In giving further impetus to the investigation process, Metrorail is offering a reward of R50,000 to anyone who provides information that will lead to successful prosecution of those involved in this criminality," Metrorail CEO Mosenngwa Mofi said.

The company said it had lost more than R70 million since a strike it attributed to the National Transport Movement (NTM).

Comment was not immediately available from an NTM representative.

The damage undermined the company's efforts to improve operational efficiency and safety, placed the lives of commuters at risk, and destroyed public assets, said Mofi.

People with information could contact their nearest police station; the Passenger Rail Agency of SA's security hotline on 011-774-2989 or 083-281-9793; Crime Stop on 0860-10111; or Crime Line on sms 32211. Sources would be kept confidential.

In January, following the torching of trains in Durban during a strike, Prasa secured a Labour Court interdict restricting the activities of NTM's leadership. Prasa is the company which manages urban and long distance trains in South Africa.

Also in January, Metrorail opened a malicious damage to property case against the NTM after four trains were torched in Gauteng. In the same month a train was torched at the Woodstock railway station in Cape Town.

Metrorail regional manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz told the Cape Argus after the Woodstock train was torched that officials had ejected some passengers from the train for not having tickets or being able to pay the fare, and this may have been behind that incident.

-by Sapa

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