Soweto train crash driver fired

2011-05-25 14:16

Johannesburg - The driver of the train which crashed into a stationary train in Soweto last week was dismissed on Tuesday for doing 85km an hour in a 30km/h zone, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said on Wednesday.

"He was travelling at 85km an hour in a 30km zone and was doing 33km an hour on impact...he passed through two red signals," said Lucky Montana, Prasa Group CEO.

CEO for the rail division, Mosenngwa Mofi, said in response to the Soweto accident and another accident in Tshwane a few weeks ago that an extraordinary meeting was held on Saturday to review safety measures.

Some of the decisions taken at the meeting included the introduction of a compulsory stop at all T-signals.

"[These were] previously treated as cautionary signals where drivers could proceed with caution after a three-minute wait.

"The new rule will now compel drivers to stop and give authorisation before proceeding." A further decision was made to implement the no fault commuter cover for all valid ticket holders during a train accident.

18 victims still in hospital

Eight hundred and fifty seven people were injured when two trains collided in Meadowlands a week ago.

Eighteen victims are still in hospital.

Montana said disciplinary action had been taken against the driver in the Soweto accident a month earlier, also for speeding.

"He was put on a 12-month probation and only a month later he was speeding again." Prasa said it had also set aside R20 million to assist the victims of the two accidents which will be over and above the payment of hospital bills.

Starting next week, victims of the two accidents with serious injuries will receive R10 000 in compensation and victims with other injuries will receive R7 500.

Montana explained that R19.5bn has been set aside for infrastructure upgrade, including improvement of the signalling system and stations.

  • Barry - 2011-05-25 14:24

    Can you imagine if the flew our planes ? Catastrophe upon catastrophe and......... calamity upon calamity

      Nutzman - 2011-05-25 14:42

      Generally pilots only crash once. Hence the reason, this guy drives trains??? He can do it again..... and again... and again!!!! Sorry, only twice. He got fired before he could be caught again. But the union will have him re-instated within the month.

      IandI - 2011-05-25 15:03

      He will probably get a job as a taxi driver now..eish!

      chaka - 2011-05-25 15:07

      He was only dismissed. Criminal charges should have been laid against him!!! There were people injured. Just shows how little peoples lives are worth in this country.

      Zion - 2011-05-25 15:10

      Good so they fire him, Who the f*ck signed him on in the first place. This mf*cker belongs under a gallows in the first place. But same old hackneyed story: this is South Africa and who gives a donner. Imagine if it was a family member injured in that train accident.

      Elizabeth - 2011-05-25 15:23

      hire him as a taxi driver hes good at speeding.

      JohnnyBB - 2011-05-25 15:33

      ...another "Affirmative Action" failure...????

      Bunty - 2011-05-25 15:34

      Imagine the Gautrain! Not even a free ticket thank you.Not until I see who is in charge.

      Henry - 2011-05-25 16:26

      One did and the plan run off the runway at George airport

      Krolie - 2011-05-25 17:54

      Uhmm. How do you do 85 and 33km an hour at the same time in a 30km zone? I must be overtired. Can't figure that one out.

  • Gorilla - 2011-05-25 14:25

    "...was dismissed on Tuesday for doing 85km an hour in a 30km/h zone..." Funny I'd have thought he should have been dismissed for injuring 852 people.

      Aish - 2011-05-25 14:37

      You cant say that Gorilla, its counter revolutionary!!!

      Mikemcc - 2011-05-25 14:45

      @Gorilla, you have to prove that he was guilty of some offence before you can dismiss him, unfortunately if you try it any other way and you will have the unions swinging off your dangly bits!

      Allieo - 2011-05-25 14:48

      @ Aish, LOL !!! - 2011-05-25 14:51

      The reason this country has problems : too many people majoring in minors! What difference does it make if he was fired for speeding or for injuring 800 people - fact is hes gone - APPRECIATE THAT!

      Gorilla - 2011-05-25 15:02

      No - the reason SA has problems is that people like 'ol gonny here think that injuring 852 people is somehow "a minor" - It's not a train smash pal.

      Zion - 2011-05-25 15:13

      And he will probably be back on duty within 5 months - 2011-05-25 15:14

      Gorilla - can u read? Where did i say it was "minor"? You DF!

      Gorilla - 2011-05-25 15:20

      Having a bad day Gonny? Chill out dude, like I said, it's not a train wreck. And by the way who's your DF? - 2011-05-25 15:24

      Yeah very bad day. Bet You keep refreshing the page to enjoy the amount of thumbs up u getting hey - good stuff im sure it feels good.

      Gorilla - 2011-05-25 15:29

      I hadn't noticed but thanks for pointing it out. Hope your day improves. Try not to beat anyone up before bedtime.

      Figjam1 - 2011-05-25 15:33

      Thank Goodness the train was only half full.

      JohnnyBB - 2011-05-25 15:36

      ...AA's are not fired... ...after a cock-up, they usually are promoted...

      johan - 2011-05-25 17:51


  • Barry - 2011-05-25 14:26

    "CEO for the rail division, Mosenngwa Mofi, said" Some of the decisions taken at the meeting included the introduction of a compulsory stop at all T-signals. "[These were] previously treated as cautionary signals where drivers could proceed with caution after a three-minute wait. "The new rule will now compel drivers to stop and give authorisation before proceeding." A further decision was made to implement the no fault commuter cover for all valid ticket holders during a train accident. Should these rules not have been implemented years ago ?

      Bunty - 2011-05-25 15:41

      "[These were] previously treated as cautionary signals." Previously since the beginning of rail? What! 150 years maybe? Now these injustices of the past will be corrected. Amandla!

      ESTIE - 2011-05-25 16:35

      You right Barry , this changes should have been implemented years ago but the problem with the previous railway mngt(whites)were resistant to change.

  • Niren Mahabir - 2011-05-25 14:26

    Fired? He should be criminally charged !!!

      Meanleader - 2011-05-25 15:11

      Ja ... I agree , charge this cretin .... he only injured them !

      THX1148 - 2011-05-25 15:25

      I'm guessing that he can still be criminally charged but this article is just about what PRASA have done viz. they dismissed him.

      Henry - 2011-05-25 16:43

      He was not fired only sent for training.

  • Barry - 2011-05-25 14:26

    "Starting next week, victims of the two accidents with serious injuries will receive R10 000 in compensation and victims with other injuries will receive R7 500." Is this not a paltry sum ?

      steve.dupreez - 2011-05-25 14:53

      They could have stopped at paying the hospital bills, Barry. There is no law to force them to pay injury compensation.

      Meanleader - 2011-05-25 15:07

      But they could sue the rail company for sure !!!

      Zion - 2011-05-25 15:17

      The firing of the driver due to negligence will stand well in a court of law and as a consequence of the nature of the negligence, incompetence, the Company may be sued. It is unbelievable that even morons are driving trains today.

  • Kristy - 2011-05-25 14:29

    Its great that he got fired, justice is served - just a pitty for all the people that got hurt because of his negligence.

  • Gadafi007 - 2011-05-25 14:30

    If its not Taxis speeding ,it's buses or flippin Trains ,what's next ships and planes....?

      Lim The Black - 2011-05-25 14:50

      i'm fine with speeding planes dude....just saying - 2011-05-25 14:53

      Gadafi besides whining and complaining what are you doing to help the situation?

      Papsak - 2011-05-25 15:02

      And donkey carts.

      yfz4504eva - 2011-05-25 16:18

      ur a real d00s gonny@24, btw not seeing you doing anything ether... except complaining about other peoples complaints - 2011-05-25 16:28

      Where exactly am I complaining and what am i complaining about? See this is why people with less than a university education should not comment here.

      Justinpassin - 2011-05-25 16:41

      Does not sound like you have one Dommy Gonny

  • BigMoose - 2011-05-25 14:34

    Let's hope he gets a promotion as the driver of the gravy train.

      S Bouttell - 2011-05-25 14:38

      Hell no. That train is speeding along quite nicely already, thank you...

      gekko - 2011-05-25 15:30

      @ S Bouttell, I think BigMoose meant to crash the gravy train.

  • Cupra - 2011-05-25 14:35

    Should he not be prosecuted and sentenced? Quite a few laws were broken. Just being fired doesnt seem like justice to me... he has hurt hundreds of people & cost the company millions!!!!

      Zion - 2011-05-25 15:20

      think that could happen. If it does not happen then this f*cked up country is in for trouble.

  • apie - 2011-05-25 14:37

    What is his name?

      Niren Mahabir - 2011-05-25 14:41

      Speedy Khumalo (aka Gonzales) - 2011-05-25 15:19

      Niren dont be a racist - how do u know he was black?

      Zion - 2011-05-25 15:21


      Niren Mahabir - 2011-05-25 15:27

      True...i retract that statement

      vambozha mutemi - 2011-05-25 15:30

      The Fast and Furious

      Lab-Rat - 2011-05-25 16:55

      Gonny don't be so racially sensitive, how do you know he wasn't?

      Krolie - 2011-05-25 18:02

      @Zion. No, not Schumi, that's my cat's name!

  • thobsion.ANC - 2011-05-25 14:40

    The employers is correct by firing this guy. The state now must deal with him, he's irresponsible.

      gekko - 2011-05-25 15:32

      He is iiresponsible so the ANC must deploy him in a top position in government.Hey thobsion.ANC?

      johan - 2011-05-25 17:56


  • avaricesa - 2011-05-25 14:42

    Should hope he was fired.

  • Danie - 2011-05-25 14:50

    In apartheid SA , you where for donkey years a driver assistant , before you would have any hope of being a train driver. Is his driver a affirmative action appointment, ( 5 years service )if so his bosses that appoint him should also be fired.

      Tebogo - 2011-05-25 15:00

      Why are u punishing yourself with such thoughts? Apartheid is over dude, move on already! Batho ba modimo.

      Meanleader - 2011-05-25 15:16

      Tebago .... The only punishment is reading your ignorant drivel . Read the facts son , and maybe you get to save some of your species ! - 2011-05-25 15:16

      Tebogo - News24 reveals the true racists that live amongst us - in the workplace they act all holy and non-racist - but in here they reveal their true colors - just watch the amount of thumbs down my comment will get as proof!

      soba le boya - 2011-05-25 15:20

      it's spelled Tebogo,ai man...

      JohnnyBB - 2011-05-25 15:43

      .....AA + BEE = failure.... proven....

      Lab-Rat - 2011-05-25 16:59

      Haven't you heard gonny, we're all racists now thanks to your beloved party.

      tailormade - 2011-05-25 17:12

      Danie, you actually make a very very good point: In the old days it was considered a huge honour to become a train driver. Young aspiring employees all wanted that. It really did take a few years before even considered for promotion. It's sad that the safety standards have dropped the way it did. My friend works for Transnet and nowadays they consider far less than 5years as appropriate training to become a train driver. So ja, with all due respect to the other commentator: just because Apartheid is over, doesn't mean that standards have to fly out of the window.

      iqanda - 2011-05-25 20:10

      Tebogo you idiot.

  • WiseOwl2 - 2011-05-25 14:57

    Our train statistics are fast becoming that of taxis - Oh yes blame it on APARTHEID. APARTHEID only taught people to use the accelerator and not the brake. - 2011-05-25 16:07

      JohnnyBB - lets how man enough u are to say that with your real name and address out in the open - or are you a closet racist like most of the ppl in here? - 2011-05-25 16:08

      If you look at the Engineering faculties around the country it is the blacks who are putting away the Indians and white kids. Take that from an academic.

      JohnnyBB - 2011-05-25 16:15, ...whites will always lead... ...and blacks will always "follow".... ...follow slowly.... ....just look at the rest of "black" Africa... ...chaos... - 2011-05-25 16:30

      Well unlike you Im not a racist so I'm not going to justify that with a racial response - truth is blacks are doing much better academically than whites or indian kids - they are more focussed and more hungry for knowledge - and if you're thinking Im black - then you're wrong. Thats all I will say.

      Lab-Rat - 2011-05-25 16:59 - "apartheid kept the black man dumb and denied them proper education" - Well that says a lot about you.

      tailormade - 2011-05-25 17:18

      Actually Gonnie, With specific reference to this train driver we cannot blame Apartheid. There is no excuse for not making use of highly trained people to help train future trainees. Thus, one cannot use the excuse that there was no trained peopl to train the new generation in Transnet. Further, no person told Transnet to lower their standards when it comes to's a decision made by themselves long after Apartheid. You can blame many things on Apartheid but don't blame Apartheid when the post-1994 governments refused to utilise available experience to help train the future...

  • RobinAL - 2011-05-25 14:57

    I am a recent ex train driver believe me only incidents where public are killed or injured "come out".Although i do miss my old job 10 x my old salary will not get me back-it's way too scary out there on the old FOOTPLATE now.In the old days a person had to be an assitent to a train driver for at least 5-10 years now its's a few months.

      Zion - 2011-05-25 15:36

      I done my apprenticeship in Windhoek in the good old days and stayed in the Railway hostels with these driver assistants. There is just no doubt about it but these guys had to really work to stay on their jobs. By the time they knocked off they were filthy due to cleaning diesels and what not. By the time they were drivers they earned it.

      JohnnyBB - 2011-05-25 16:01

      ...since 1994 the ANC has buggered up everything... ...from bad to worse... - 2011-05-25 16:08

      JohnnyBB - why are u still here then mate? If its that bad - move!

      JohnnyBB - 2011-05-25 16:18, .....why dont you move back to the zoo you escaped from..??

      JohnnyBB - 2011-05-25 16:29, ......ja, even the zoo doesn't want you back... ...pathetic monkey... - 2011-05-25 16:31

      JohnnyBB - I cant your dad is now the main act - see if u reply like someone with a std 6 education I will have to talk to u in a language u understand...this forum is for intellectuals not illiterates.

      JohnnyBB - 2011-05-25 16:46 ....are you an intellectual..??? must be joking...!! are a clown...!! ....Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ...!!

      Zebedi - 2011-05-25 19:06

      Would Johnny and Gonny please exchange emails and take your pathetic banter off the forum.

  • jvdspuy - 2011-05-25 14:59

    Next stop taxiville.

  • SX137 - 2011-05-25 15:02

    This highlights the dangers of promoting people above their level of responsiblity, which generally comes with an increase in age and experience. Juniorisation of positions in terms of experience and/or age has led to this accident and will lead to countless others to. Inexperienced and immature people don't fully comprehend the dangers their actions pose to those they are responsible for.

  • Bullet - 2011-05-25 15:06

    No job! guess what he is going to next? yes you guessed it become a Taxi driver, he has all the credentials.

  • soba le boya - 2011-05-25 15:07

    fired?with what kind of ammunition?live or pellets?

  • simon - 2011-05-25 15:13

    How can a train even do 80 in a 30km/h zone? Are we so far behind the rest of the world that our trains still need to be driven by hand? What a joke! I am surpised there are not more accidents.

  • Serias - 2011-05-25 15:17

    Straight into politics for this guy then, he's now qualified.

  • vambozha mutemi - 2011-05-25 15:17

    Did they question his urine samples?

      Peter - 2011-05-25 15:26

      They did , but got pissed off with his answers !

  • Blikskottel - 2011-05-25 15:20

    Way back in 1984, I worked one university holiday as a driver's assistant. Back then drivers had a saying: "F0k voort.... en as dinge skeef loop, f0k uit!" - that is jump out of the train before crashing (you have a better chance of survival jumping than being at the point of impact). Did this driver jump?

      JohnnyBB - 2011-05-25 15:46 an AA appointee, he pretty much did not know what to do.... ......shame....

  • Craig - 2011-05-25 15:23

    He will get a job in the ANC and become ANCYL president....he got off scot free just like all the criminals in government...........

  • King - 2011-05-25 15:26

    He mustn't just be fired, he must be charged as well for 857 counts of attempted murder.

      Streetdreams - 2011-05-25 16:11

      thats bull Braa

  • goldwhispers - 2011-05-25 15:26

    fired? the guys should be charged in a court of law.

  • FaxM8 Fax - 2011-05-25 15:29

    Rules and regulations , The white mans invention!!

      mamakalami - 2011-05-25 16:06

      So is racism.

  • ktr679 - 2011-05-25 15:30

    Much worse would have happened if he was driving a car - 55km/hr over the speed limit!!!!! - and in an accident!!!!

  • Miracle Medic - 2011-05-25 15:31

    All 800 and something injured will be compensated?? Well there's a whole new career opportunity just waiting to take off... become a professional patient... I can assure you, not everyone who cried foul, was in fact injured to the point of requiring treatment, or compensation...

  • Airborne68 - 2011-05-25 15:33

    R20 million???? What about all the people who are waiting for payments from the RAF? I just don't get it.

  • Orosman - 2011-05-25 15:34

    Stick to the issue at hand. The man did not obey the rules of the organisation and got fired for misconduct.He would of been read his rights to a representative and if the driver is not happy with the outcome then, as we all have that right, appeal to the CCMA. It has nothing to do with ANC, Malema, etc etc. If the driver was found to be under the influence (i am sure they should of checked) then he can be charged for driving under the influence. what I do not know is can he be criminally charged for RECKLESS driving.

  • gavin.jepson - 2011-05-25 16:07

    Too Little to late!! What's next for this idiot, a job with the VIP protection unit!!

  • 50something - 2011-05-25 16:08

    There is clearly a huge gap in the training of traindrivers, who is really to be blamed? I am old enough to remember that traindrivers used to be very experienced people. They used to be fired on the spot for affences like speeding, jumping a red signal or under the influence while on duty.

  • gavin.jepson - 2011-05-25 16:14

    Too Little to late. What's next for this idiot?? A job with the VIP protection unit!!

  • Jean - 2011-05-25 16:24

    If there was no accident he would not have been fired for travelling too fast and through red signals. I suspect that this is normal for many drivers, as long as they do not get caught. As with everything in SA, nobody in this government manages anything.

  • INFINIT - 2011-05-25 16:29

    Some of you guys really need to get a life. the ANC seems to be reason you get up in the morning.does everything have to be about the give them more credit than they deserve. people were hurt and all you can think about is what your used to be.....go fly a kite. so bitter you are. - 2011-05-25 16:36

      INFINIT - most of the people here are bitter, angry racists - this is their only outlet - but they dont realise they make the ANC or people like Malema popular by COMPLAINING and WHINING - if they didnt give him attention he wants would he be as well known as he is - NO! He thrives on the attention these people give him.

  • David - 2011-05-25 16:43

    landl. No. He got his training as a taxi driver !!!

  • ESTIE - 2011-05-25 16:49

    It is stupid how people associates incidnces/accidents in the work place with politics. It would be nice to hear positive comments that promote safety of people from this article but now you hear stupid comments like AA positions ..ANC...this and that.

      JohnnyBB - 2011-05-25 16:59 to promote safety..?? ...appoint COMPETENT people.. ...easy as that...

  • Mike - 2011-05-25 17:00

    Congratulations on the tranparency of the findings and the speed at which it was dealt with. This is encouraging to see. Probably not for the employer to persue but surely reckless operation of a public tranport vehicle/train is a criminal offence?

  • WoodworkPh.D - 2011-05-25 17:02

    Either he was a taxi or Putco bus driver. Bastard!!!!!!!!!!!

  • WoodworkPh.D - 2011-05-25 17:05

    This grrr...person... should be demoted to ANC youth leader.

  • Collitjies - 2011-05-25 17:14

    Yet another BEE accident with the driver only being fired, he can now go out and become a bus driver and kill/maim another lot of passengers and still get away with it. What about the cost of the train he reduced to scrap metal.

  • YasButIDunno - 2011-05-25 17:21

    The one who appointed the incompetent moron is the one who should be facing charges of criminal negligence. I guess this government of ours doesn't really give a toss about black lives - spot the difference between the ANC and the NP. George Orwell had it exactly right.

  • Organist-1 - 2011-05-25 17:30

    What do you expect fron the Zulu family? She was probably Malemas sister and as such think that rules were made to be ignored. Probably WAS a Taxi driver before this job. Who knows, maybe she wasnt tested for colour blindness, and on top of that illeterate 'cos she couldnt read the speed limit boards. In the olden days drivers had to learn and memorise every inch of the trajectory there were supposed to run. Any other section was taboo until you had your training on it. was this driver qualified to do this stretch of track?

  • maseratifitt - 2011-05-25 17:50

    Does anyone know: Was there ever a more serious train smash than this one, in South African history? (We are not counting the ANC governing the country)

  • JohnMK - 2011-05-25 18:59

    Any fool can drive a train, and they do.

  • Tebogo - 2011-05-25 23:06

    its natural for some white people to think apartheid was a better regime.

  • AgPseDaddy - 2011-06-06 19:14

    unfortunately his color does fly SAA? He will probably go back to driving his taxi!!!!! That is why i only fly Virgin!

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