Zuma takes train to assess public transport

2012-06-14 11:43

Johannesburg - Dozens of schoolchildren rushed to see President Jacob Zuma as he embarked from a Metrorail train at the Rhodesfield station in Kempton Park on Thursday.

The presidential bodyguards pushed away the schoolchildren, restraining them from getting close to the president.

The evidently excited minors burst into a chorus of Zuma's signature song "Umshini wami", while dancing.

Zuma and his huge entourage, including ministers, disembarked from the train and went to the upper platform to board the Gautrain to Sandton.

SA National Defence Force and SA Police Service helicopters hovered over the train station and followed the Gautrain.

Zuma left Pretoria on Thursday morning on a packed Metrorail trail heading to Johannesburg.

Spoke to commuters

The president moved from one coach to the other, greeting and talking briefly to commuters.

He was with Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane - sharing jokes and laughing loudly.

Thousands of early train commuters jostled to catch a glimpse of the president, who was flanked by a heavy security detail.

Zuma had arrived at around 07:00 at Pretoria's main Bosman train station to begin his journey.

He went to buy his own train ticket.

On the train, commuters spoke emotionally regarding the "poor" train service to the president.

"We are struggling, president. The trains are always overloaded like this - this is how we survive," said one commuter.

"I am so glad I have seen the president for the first time. This is amazing," said another.

Many commuters took photographs of the president and the premier with their cellphones.

Zuma's tour, dubbed "The President's Monitoring Visit 2012" was an opportunity for him to assess public transport in Gauteng during rush hour.

Zuma and his entourage would end their train journey by Gautrain at Park Station in the Johannesburg CBD. From there they would ride on a Rea Vaya bus to Soweto.

- Were you there? Send us your photos.

  • paul.c.wadsworth - 2012-06-14 11:49

    One ticket for all that lot??? It's not quite the same for all those everyday comuters. He should have done it undercover to see the real story!!

      Curry - 2012-06-14 11:52

      JZ and his w_h_o_l_e family can ride the train everyday for the next 160 years for the price he is spending on one flight according to today's reports.

      zaatheist - 2012-06-14 12:05

      You can bet that his the train was specially cleaned and smartened up for him.

      Peter - 2012-06-14 12:08

      No he must sleep under the bridge during this winter to assess the impact of corruption to the poor!

      Christopher - 2012-06-14 12:10

      Zuma you pons!

      jacobs.clint - 2012-06-14 12:11

      If He did that there would be no publicity for his campaign!

      Andrew - 2012-06-14 12:14

      Maybe Spoornet can offer him a job as a railway sleeper! Because that is what most of the Spoornet workers do....sleep on the job!

      Henk - 2012-06-14 12:38

      Just a money wasting exercise, Thats all it is.

      espanyol.mpumi - 2012-06-14 12:41

      He must also try out the "taxis" at 17h00 from Bree Taxi Rank to Soweto. He mustn't forget to queue!

      ReaperAJ - 2012-06-14 13:05

      completely agree with you on that. As if they'd let him ride in the squalor and danger commuters face on a daily basis! I would never ride the train these days, and I used it as a means to get to school and back when I was a teenager. Now, one takes their life in their hands. He should come to Durban and ride our trains and taxi's here. If he lives through a taxi ride, I'll be surprised.

      Zambezi - 2012-06-14 13:37

      Well done my President!

      philip.venter1 - 2012-06-14 14:11

      Zuma: What is on the schedule for today? Assistant: Well you can start working on fixing crime, corruption, poverty, inequality, racism, famine or education for starters. Zuma: No those things all sound boring, I think I'm going to go have sex with four of my wives then I'll go ride a train with a miniature army as bodyguards then afterwards I'll go and enjoy a warm bowl of mielie pap in my office while my servants give me a massage. Assistant: But sir, there are very important issues in the country that need to be addressed! Zuma: Didn't you hear me? I said I was going to go ride a train! I will just tell the people that I want to check it out, they won't mind. Assistant: Fine, I'll start the arrangements.

  • Hadebe - 2012-06-14 11:55

    He should do it without the entourage n the bodyguards, then we can speak about 1st hand experience. This is nothing short of a public stunt. Period.

      Sharon - 2012-06-14 12:08

      And he can sit by a hole where a window used to be and pray no-one throws a rock from a passing train and takes his eye out...

  • Bzeng - 2012-06-14 11:58

    The poor commuters wil be promisd better service for anthr years to come. Ok ja he tried reachn train commuters bt ddnt expiernc the pain thy go through wen service reali goes bad with metrorail

  • Earl O Tool - 2012-06-14 11:59

    I am glad our president made this effort

      Bzeng - 2012-06-14 12:00

      rmbr votin era us near so nt surprisd by hs effort

      Bzeng - 2012-06-14 12:01

      rmbr votin era is near so nt surprisd by hs effort

      TSOTSI Smilification - 2012-06-14 12:18

      TOOL / SHEEP!

      Henk - 2012-06-14 12:33

      "Our" Prsident! I think not!

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-14 12:33

      Effort? What effort? He took a ride on a train. Is this something remarkable?

  • harry.vermaak.3 - 2012-06-14 12:00

    Publicity stunt, worthless and meaningless, waste of time!!!!!

  • nmateke - 2012-06-14 12:04

    7:00 am its the real story. "We are struggling, president. The trains are always overloaded like this - this is how we survive,"

  • Randomhero6661 - 2012-06-14 12:05

    ah zoom zoom, you are not transparent. 2nd term much, i doubt it. the hounds are out for blood tonight.

  • kholofelo.theko - 2012-06-14 12:06

    What a waste of time, clearly a minister or mec could have done this and reported back if there's anything new, cos everyone knows about these problems.

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-14 12:15

      Just 'Grandstanding' / Window dressing. The real issues are ignored.

  • joe.farmer.92775 - 2012-06-14 12:08

    Zuma takes Gravy train to assess public transport "let them eat cake" he declares

      Megan - 2012-06-14 12:38

      It's just such a pity that your reference above will be lost on so many people...

      ReaperAJ - 2012-06-14 13:08

      indeed! Or perhaps phutu in our case.

  • G√ľnter - 2012-06-14 12:08

    Wow, i am from Austria and it is considered normal for our politician to use public transport. Only official business is done in gov. vehicles. Instead of jostling people should demand him to do that daily.

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-14 12:13

      Yes you're right, but things work differently here in Africa. These people consider themselves 'Royalty' rather than public servants.

      harry.vermaak.3 - 2012-06-14 12:14

      This is Africa my friend, here politicians see themself as part of royalty, not as the public servants that they actualy are.

      harry.vermaak.3 - 2012-06-14 12:16

      @ nigel LOL!!! great minds think alike!!!

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-14 12:28

      harry.vermaak.3 - LOL. Snap!!!

      Gavin - 2012-06-14 12:57

      Don't be ridiculous guys, do you use the metro rail. Mmm I didn't think so. So how can you expect the president to use it. Royalty or not. No one wants to use the trains in SA

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-14 13:08

      Gavin - and your point is....?

      Gavin - 2012-06-14 13:58

      Read dumb plumb. Then you'll get the point.

      Chris - 2012-06-14 15:15

      @Gavin: At least he had helicopters following the train, definitely not a waste of money.

      Gavin - 2012-06-14 16:07

      So what. Just because he is a black president but if he was a white man. Your comments will obviously be different, he is the president of the country you live in have some respect and gunter. Let me give you a lesson. if I relocate to austria I wouldn't expect the same as south africa. All you haters go back to your own countries if you don't like it here. South africa is beautiful and run by beautiful respectable people who fought for our freedom. Viva zuma viva

      Bless Boswell - 2012-06-18 00:24

      Gavin, how about you pack up your hate speech and get out of South Africa. People like you are blindly loyal. You are having Money stolen right out from under your nose and you can't see it. The whites done care who runs the country -it must just be run by a respectable, moral and honest person.

  • Gavin - 2012-06-14 12:10

    Zuma is your typical politician, the closer he gets to an erection...sorry, I mean election, the more active/productive he becomes.

      LebogangTho - 2012-06-14 13:09

      that is too true, and it clearly shows that our government/president strongly believes that we are such idiots that we dont see the 'strategy'I'm not impressed by him taking the train this AM...

  • Desika - 2012-06-14 12:17

    Well Done Mr President! I think you've done something good and humbled yourself to do this! Some people are not satisfied with anything! The more you try, the more they want! Those are the people that think nothing of what you have done today!

      Erna - 2012-06-14 12:24

      How can you truly say that he has humbled himself by doing this? He has arrived with a complete entourage of politicians and body guards. He will not have to wait for a late train or bus, and there will definitely be no delays because of cable theft. Come on - don't be naive. Bet you he doesn't go to Zandspruit. This is just cheap electioneering.

      harry.vermaak.3 - 2012-06-14 12:26

      Maybe if this story broke after he has been on the trains, and he did it anonymously to realy experience what it truly is like, it would have some meaning, this is only a dog and pony show to make him look like he give a damn, sorry don't buy it!!!

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-14 12:31

      What did he do today? Ride on a train. Well Yippe Ki yai. What did he achieve? Diddly Squat! What are we supposed to say?

      Gavin - 2012-06-14 12:44

      Erna. He's the president obviously he showed up with an entourage and body guards. What Did you expect him to rock up there and board the train all by him lonesome self. Well do some research and you will find that no president of any country goes any where alone. Black white green or blue

      unlimited.A - 2012-06-14 12:55

      He didn't even bought da ticket I was there....he's trying to buy us (poors) thats the first nd the last you'll never hear that again.......

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 10:48

      desika, why wasn't he on the train last month or this morning?. Why have the press there?. Some of you are so darn naive it's scarey.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 10:52

      Gavin, don't talk rubbish. If he was sincere he would have taken the train on more than one occasion to seem what it is like to commute in over crowded trains. You just told everyone to return to where ever they came from if they don't like it here and now you start telling everyone to see how other politicians in the world travel. You are an incomplete individual with little knowledge and much wind. Grow up.

  • ngwana.moafrika - 2012-06-14 12:21

    He should have started in Mabopane and see how the commuters run underway when it gets to Pretoria A Station for the next train to Johannesburg which would not wait for them even if the train driver is aware another train just came in.

  • luca.delbianco.3 - 2012-06-14 12:22

    wow. I wonder how much was the overall stunt.

  • njabulo.sibanda.73 - 2012-06-14 12:27


      Megan - 2012-06-14 12:40

      I really think it's got to a stage where a little bit of Madiba dies of embarrassment every time the ANC open their mouths!

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 10:54

      Njabula, Comrade Lekots opens his own mouth. The lot you adore opens your PURSE to see how much is left to steal.

  • johann.visser.98 - 2012-06-14 12:27

    well done zuma advertising that you can be sort out corruption including your sons and cousins disgrace of stealing as shown on Carte Blance last moth.Ans also ANC stop advertising apartyd on your website , if that still encourages people then for those yet a life.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 10:56

      Johann Visser98, civilized is not in his lordships vocabulary. Getting re chosen in Mangaung is.

  • Henk - 2012-06-14 12:32

    SA National Defence Force and SA Police Service helicopters hovered over the train station and followed the Gautrain. Hollywood se gat ne!!!

      harry.vermaak.3 - 2012-06-14 12:56

      Would like to know how much this "show" is costing the taxpayers??!!

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-14 13:05

      Much ado about nothing - Africa Style.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 10:58

      If his ego gets any bigger he will need a train just for that. Of course this whole circus was there so we would forget about the R145million he spend on his travels. Imagine how many houses could have been build with that money.

  • Mzamo - 2012-06-14 12:35

    Siyabonga Nxamalala for the courage have shown to take a train today. Hopefully you will also take taxis and buses so you will have clearer picture of what we going through on a daily basis! In a taxi its "4-4" per seat! I hope you don't get a Toyoya Quantum!!!

  • Glyn - 2012-06-14 12:41

    Not a realistic ride! Showbiz, that is all. Next he will rebrand himself a a "man of the people"! Balony!

  • sango.jika - 2012-06-14 12:46

    For him its just a ride, Its not like he's going to change anything.

  • Thabo - 2012-06-14 12:50

    Nice Mr President hope you will help with the overload, very impressed that you finally catched a ride on a metrorail.

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-14 13:05

      Caught Thabo. Caught

  • nkululeko.mthethwa.5 - 2012-06-14 12:55

    this is the kind of president who cares for us. phambili Msholozi

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-14 13:06

      Yes of course. And this ride on the train proves that. Yes, he really cares. He is so caring.

      Connie - 2012-06-14 13:40

      Hope the president will do something about the public transport!!! Halala Msholozi halalalal!!

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 11:04

      Nkululeko, he is starting caring about you? A bit late isn't he?. I trust you don't live in a water logged shack in this cold weather. Fancy how we don't see any of these little Neros anywhere near the misery of living in poor conditions in this weather. Black poor people can go to hell, they are only good for voting crooks back into office. So all the crooks think while drinking their expensive whiskey.

  • Ryno - 2012-06-14 12:58

    "The evidently excited minors burst into a chorus of Zuma's signature song "Umshini wami", while dancing" so it goes to show that your actions speak louder than your words - i am sure the youngsters have no idea what that song is actually about!! all they here is "bring my machine gun"

  • lulu.magadla - 2012-06-14 13:01

    & why must everytime an election is about to take place, services and infrustructural developments that should have happened years ago are being "assesed" by the president.& new promises are renewed. He man, kudlalwa ngoobani kanti apha-what do government departments and employees do all year long kanti,Jees, its all a political game.

      dhavandran.palavar - 2012-06-14 13:28

      agree with you. now to get the support of the hindus and islam followers the govt wants to bribe them by declaring some of their holy festivals as public holidays. i bet after the elections this will be shelved as was in 2008 and resurface before elections. nice timing.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 11:10

      Dhavandran.palaver. well Hindus and Moslims are too clever to fall for a t-shirt and a food parcel. They don't need it, they work for a living and they take care of their people needing help. Not any inroads to be made there for the corrupt and the incompetent lot of jellyfish ruling this country, So a public holiday or two is the bait. Wait for the Zoomer to turn up soon, hopefully he choose Dewali and stay in the dark. Bunch of clowns.

  • cry.mashiane - 2012-06-14 13:02

    Publicity stunt because elections are looming huh mr president?

  • thembile.gumbi - 2012-06-14 13:04

    I smell desperation!!!anyone who falls for this stunt is foolish.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 11:11

      Thembile you'll be surpised how many did fall for this stunt.

  • franco.beukman - 2012-06-14 13:05

    If u wana assess public transport mr zuma take a taxi than a train nd than u take a bus like normal pple in peak time .I bet u will cry for your SUV nd blue lights.

  • monwabisi.nel.7 - 2012-06-14 13:09

    I think Mr zuma is having free ride because he is got nothing to do today the will be no change after the ride

  • Joubs1957 - 2012-06-14 13:09

    Yeah and the schoolchildren sing: Bring us our machineguns" Ha Ha Bananafarians!!! They should be singing: "Give us quality education"!!!!!!

      raymond.abrahamse - 2012-06-14 21:20

      You don't need an education to become a President.

  • Douglas Theron - 2012-06-14 13:10

    I would also be rushing if i saw someone embarking from the train i never knew it was possible to embark from something this is groundbreaking stuff...

      harry.vermaak.3 - 2012-06-14 15:07

      He probably embarked from the train after he disembarked on to the train earlier, LOL!!!!!

  • Sonwabile Langa-Nomvalo - 2012-06-14 13:11

    He must ride RoadLink to Nkandla, then have something to say about public trnasport, not these placed 'ria via' buses, & well prepared trains to make a good impression. Book him Roadlink to Nkandla.

  • roy.martine1 - 2012-06-14 13:12

    so the president was on the train? then who was in the motorcade with "RSA 1"that went sppeding down the M1 south at around 07h30 this same morning?

  • Andricca - 2012-06-14 13:16

    To assess which public transport idiot serial polygamist who know nothing except obsession for nice times and sex

  • dhavandran.palavar - 2012-06-14 13:23

    but he should have done it under cover to get the true picture.

  • nathi.siphala - 2012-06-14 13:25

    He was on the train, whats a big deal?

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 11:13

      Nathi, the big deal is he has never been on a trian before. You helped pay his ticket.

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-14 13:26

    Now he only realizes he should book in for the day into a Public Hospital, and wear a the nurses don't recognize him...let's see what he will think of that ..with a little luck he might issue instructions to turn these Hospitals into more like private...with efficiency and cleaner ect.

      raymond.abrahamse - 2012-06-14 20:51

      ABSOLUTELY,Sandra you've taken the words out of my mouth,Zuma must visit Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town and Chris Hani Baragwanath in Jhbg,he worries about healthy commuters but what about the sick people waiting to be treated in appalling filthy conditions.He definately will not go,boarding a train is easier.

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-15 08:22

      Raymond...I wonder what it will take for this government to begin to see the sorry state of affairs in the Hospitals. What amazes me is that our black folk march for less serious issues....but these Hospitals are becoming the place you go to die...even if you are 10 yrs old and go there for a slight chest infection....CHANCES ARE YOU MIGHT NOT COME OUT ALIVE.What can be done to seriously jolt these officials into seeing the seriousness of this situation?

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 11:15

      Sandra, there isn't a wig big enough to disguise stupid. Those in public hospitals are the voting thrash, no important at all to a man in a designer suit.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 11:17

      Raymond, There was a time the Baragwanath was the best hospital in Africa. Tygerberg is a crime against humanity, but then so are most of the public hospitals, none who are ever visited by our ruling jellyfish.

  • rasthami.m1 - 2012-06-14 13:26

    Mangaung trip to buy votes !!! Motlhanthe for president

  • - 2012-06-15 10:29

    Cumon people, give Zuma a Bell it not a praise, i mean if it was Zille, u would be saying weldone thats great, now say it too to the Resident dont be jelas

      Jacqui - 2012-06-15 11:26

      Rikhoula the DA spend many hours on public transport. They just went without the palavar your president caused. I hope you don't remain an idiot all your life.

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