Metrorail blames union for train torchings

2013-01-26 20:05

Johannesburg - Metrorail in Gauteng opened a case of malicious damage to property against the National Transport Movement on Saturday after four trains were set on fire in the province.

"This is as a result of a series of trains burning since the beginning of the NTM strike which started on 18 January 2013," Metrorail's spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said in a statement.

Mofokeng said on Wednesday one train was torched at the Braamfontein yard and another at Croesus station, leaving three coaches totally destroyed.

On Friday night, two more trains were set alight. One was at Braamfontein station, in which three coaches were damaged, and the other was at Kliptown station, where two coaches were damaged.

"It cannot be a coincidence that when the same leadership of NTM facilitates a strike we have this unacceptable behaviour of torching of assets.

"When looking back at the strike organised by Ephraim Mphahlele, the President of NTM last year, five trains were burnt," said Metrorail's manager Tembela Kulu.

"We hold this movement and its leadership fully accountable and expect them to be answerable for this loss that will cost millions of rands..."

NTM deputy general secretary Liver Mngomezulu said they were not aware about the trains that were set alight, and said their members were "peaceful".

"They [Metrorail] must put their house into order; in the Western Cape their train was burnt down where there is no strike. Now if their train can catch fire while in motion where there is no strike... what is the difference with Gauteng [trains]?" said Mngomezulu.

A train caught fire on Tuesday at the Woodstock railway station in Cape Town and left thousands of commuters stranded. The cause of the fire was not known.

Mngomezulu said Metrorail should not drag the name of their president "through the mud" by alleging he had a history of burning the trains whenever there was a strike.

"Mr Mphahlele is a principled man who likes peace, they know him... he doesn't want corruption."

He said the strike that started last week Friday was over the issue of the recognition of their union in the bargaining council.

  • hymiem - 2013-01-26 20:20

    Hold unions accountable for their members behavior!!!

      lownabester - 2013-01-26 23:40

      But in the Western Cape when it happens, its Helen's problem, They do have double standards, Then they blame it on poor service delivery here??? Glad it happens in other provinces too.

      SaniGhana - 2013-01-27 00:38

      These unions and the anc are brothers and they show us the same things every day,they can only make problems and they are killing this country soon many people from other countries will be too scared to come visit here coz then it might be only war in south africa

  • Dotmatrix - 2013-01-26 20:24

    Idiots cant understand the ripple effect of destroying infrastructure. What do they think they will accomplish by it, if they think at-all... These idiots just don't understand at the end of the day they just making life harder for everyone in SA. They shopping in the right place for a necklace, since they like fire so much maybe the thousands that cant get to work or home should give them some flame?

  • Charles Frederik Robberts - 2013-01-26 20:44

    I can see Mr Zuma banning all unions in the near future! The African way!

  • Bluecrest - 2013-01-26 20:47

    In your dreamzzz Charles! Ban unions and lose his last few radical moron supporters?

  • dave.kofang - 2013-01-26 21:15

    They should de-register this union bcos its jst bunch of thugs.

  • caine.abel.75 - 2013-01-26 22:57

    Members are peacfull?.....pushing it a bit dude

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2013-01-27 06:45

    Send NTM the bill for all the damage - they should be held responsible for what their unruley members do!!!!

  • Tuyez - 2013-01-27 07:17

    The union should be charged for this.

  • faith.bokaba - 2013-01-27 08:42

    Is metro rail just complaining or did they open a case with the police? They must do their work.

  • michael.tetley.35 - 2013-01-27 09:13

    Read the article again! They have laid charges. Wish people would read and understand before posting drivel.

  • james.ndamba - 2013-01-27 09:50

    Strikes and demos are greatly contributing the downfall of this economy.Its quite normal to hear these words,'we will make this ungovernable.'Building a house needs plenty tools,equipment,material and time.but in destroying its easy.All u need is a hammer.Brainless unions destryoying their livelyhood.

      Toni Krige McQuillen - 2013-01-27 11:43

      Marget Thatcher had it right, she sorted out the same problems that faced the UK, protesting is one thing but this is just hooliganism

      Tamelin Bralvin Nkosi - 2013-01-27 11:43

      I couldn't agree with you more. But as reality remains, i never fully grasped the notion of crippling state owned enterprises by violent behaviour. Its the very same people that depend on Trains as a mode of transportation, yet they inconvenience themselves.

  • christiana.vespucci - 2013-01-27 14:37

    Yes. Let's burn and destroy everything we see around us. Let's just quickly turn SA into a desert. So that we can start with the process of helping our chief decolonise the African mind. Shall we?

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