'Piet won't die in vain,' Prasa vows at slain train driver's memorial

2016-07-14 16:18
Hundreds of mourners turned out for a memorial service at Netreg Station for slain train driver Piet Botha in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

Hundreds of mourners turned out for a memorial service at Netreg Station for slain train driver Piet Botha in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - Prasa vowed on Thursday to "take our station back" after hundreds of mourners turned out for a memorial service at Netreg Station for slain train driver Piet Botha in Cape Town.

Members of Prasa, Metrorail and provincial MEC for transport and public works Donald Grant spoke on the Netreg train station platform to show their support for the Botha family.

Wife Tania, son Brandon and daughter Nadia sat in the front row of the makeshift memorial area as they said goodbye to their husband and father.

Pastor Nkosinathi Bence led the service. "This place will be remembered as the place where our brother Piet fell," he said.

Botha was described as being well-loved by his colleagues and family members.

'A real joker'

Aubrey Hyman, train control manager for the Wellington line, said Piet was a character like no other.   

"This past week was indeed a sad day at our depot.

"To us Piet Botha was more than a colleague. When Piet was in a meeting, everyone knew Piet was in the meeting. When Piet was in the mess hall, everyone knew Piet was in the mess hall.

"He was that type of man."

A light moment followed as someone in the crowd said "a real joker", causing the entire Botha family to laugh knowingly.

"My last conversation with Piet, he said he was here at Netreg because he wanted to train someone else to be the best."

Botha had been training a younger train driver on the day he was killed.


The Botha family at a memorial service at Netreg Station for slain train driver Piet Botha in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

Most dangerous station

Prasa board representative William Steenkamp said Prasa will ensure that security is beefed up at Netreg station.

"This station is the most dangerous station in Cape Town. We are not treating it as such. It is most important that that changes, and the minister is tired of defending Prasa.

"We are going to take our station back. No matter what happens, gangs can't control our station. We cannot let Piet die in vain."

Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker and Pieter Visser, a representative for train driver's at the organisation, also addressed the packed platform.

After the memorial, flowers were mounted on the fence around the spot where Botha was shot, and candles were lit on the spot where he died.

Botha's wife Tania told News24 that it was difficult to describe how she was feeling, but was amazed at all the support shown today from Prasa and the community.

Moments after the family and mourners left the memorial service, shots rang out in a street adjacent to the station, leaving three children wounded after the occupants of a Citi Golf fired shots at a house.

- Read more: 3 children shot metres from memorial service of slain train driver

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Read more on:    metrorail  |  prasa  |  cape town  |  crime
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