DA calls for inquiry into Gauteng train burnings

Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Roads and Transport

The burning of six coaches on two trains near Mobopane in Tshwane is a totally unacceptable form of protest which makes it even more difficult for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to run its service.

Thankfully there were no deaths or injuries but the DA still unreservedly condemns such destruction of property. Destroying property as a means of protest in South Africa must be dealt with proactively by the South African Police Service (SAPS). If the perpetrators of the coach torching can be identified, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The incidents do however highlight the anger being felt by commuters at the dismal performance of PRASA and its decrepit trains, outdated signalling and its total inability to provide reliable, punctual, safe and affordable public transport to commuters. They also highlight the lack of efficacy of the SAPS which took over the function of the old Railway Police and on whose shoulders the responsibility to protect passengers and PRASSA property now rests.

The DA calls for an urgent and full inquiry into the incidents and in particular the lack of SAPS protection.

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