Cape Town mayor Dan Plato complained this week that more than 40 train sets, with at least 140 carriages, had been destroyed by fire over the past three years without anyone being arrested or prosecuted for the crimes.

Plato was speaking to journalists this week after two more trains and 18 carriages were destroyed in yet another fire at Cape Town station.

Provincial Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela commented: ‘Surely if we have an effective law enforcement agency and of course, intelligence, we would have caught these people long ago?’

He added: ‘What we are seeing here is what we are seeing across the province where there is no intelligence whatsoever, and also the work the police is doing leaves much to be desired… Again, if you do have CCTV cameras and you are able to identify the perpetrators, why haven’t we got that? I do not believe that our intelligence cannot know, or do not know the people who are behind this.’

According to News24, ANC Western Cape interim provincial committee coordinator Ronalda Nalumango hinted at economic sabotage as a motive for the arson attacks on trains.

‘Clearly the timing of this fire… was an attack on the poorest part of our communities who depend on rail to commute. We call on the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to step up security, not only at Cape Town station but also at other vulnerable stations in the Western Cape.’

[Picture: Daniel Case,]


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