No-one safe at station

2017-05-02 06:01
Nkosinathi Fufu, a security guard at Kensington train station, shows one of the vandalised doors at the station.PHOTO: nomzamo yuku

Nkosinathi Fufu, a security guard at Kensington train station, shows one of the vandalised doors at the station.PHOTO: nomzamo yuku

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Kensington train station is a nightmare for everyone – even those who are there to protect commuters.

While community members worry about the safety of their children and pets that are in danger of getting hit by trains and the crimes taking place in the station area, security guards also cry for their own safety.

They say they are being terrorised by youths from around the neighbourhood who they suspect are members of gangs

Target passengers One of the security guards, Nkosinathi Fufu, says groups of drug-taking boys arrive at the station mostly in the evenings and target passengers coming from work.

When the security guards try to help the passengers, the boys get angry and go call others to come and attack the security guards.

He says the station is vandalised, because when those boys are angry they throw stones and even kick open doors in an attempt to attack the security guards.

“One of our security guards was once attacked while he was using a toilet at the platform. Those boys opened it and interrupted him and started assaulting him. He managed to escape and came to the office and we saved him.

“Also, they break in here and steal stuff; the doors are now broken. If the station was fenced we would be able to control them and protect the passengers as well.

“We plead with Prasa to consider improving the safety here, starting with fencing,” says Fufu.

Meanwhile, residents of Kuku Town informal settlement say the train station is on their doorstep. This is very risky for the children living there and it exposes them to criminals.

A danger to residents One resident, Verona Joseph (28), says she has lived there for nine years and Prasa has not done anything to keep the station or tracks from being a danger to the residents and their children who would unthinkingly risk playing on it.

Joseph says she feels like Prasa is waiting for something tragic to happen before taking the matter seriously.

“The matter has been addressed with Prasa for a very long time but they do nothing about it. We have lost a few of our dogs here and we have a fear that one day the worst will happen.

“You see people walk from that side of the road to here and we do not even know them but that could be prevented if there was fencing around,” Joseph explains.

Ward councillor Helen Jacobs says she is aware of the situation at the station and would hold a meeting with Prasa to address it. Prasa had not commented at the time of going to print.

During a visit to the station, People’s Post’s reporter witnessed a number of people jumping from the platform and walking on the tracks. Some were even crossing from the other side of the road, walking over to the station and heading towards the suburb, seemingly using the station as a shortcut between the Century City side and Kensington.

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