News

Steven Tau
2 minute read
28 Jun 2017
6:40 am

Violence stops Vaal Triangle trains

Steven Tau

Reports claim community member also died in violent Midway action.

Metrorail.

It is still not clear when Metrorail train services between Vereeniging and Johannesburg will resume after being suspended this week amid a violent community protest near Midway station.

During the protest, one Metrorail protection services officer was killed, allegedly at the hands of protesters.

Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, Metrorail spokesperson in Gauteng Lillian Mofokeng said the dead man, Joseph Koena, was standing on the platform when he was grabbed by a group of protesters, who started assaulting him with rocks.

There were also reports of a community member who died during the protest action.

Mofokeng denied claims suggesting that the slain security guard was armed.

“This is not true, none of our security personnel are armed.

“At the moment, we can’t really say when the services will resume, except to say that we had no choice but to suspend our services.

“The corridor in question has always been notorious for mainly cable theft, but we will continue monitoring the situation on the ground,” she said.

On Monday, infrastructure was again damaged, Mofokeng said, including a newly installed signalling system.

“The damage caused to property in that corridor always has a negative impact on the reliability of our services,” she said.

Goodman Matampi, acting Gauteng Metrorail provincial manager, expressed condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased in the province, saying they had truly lost a committed, hard-working and dedicated soldier, who died in the line of duty.

The train service between Germiston and Vereeniging via Meyerton will be increased by four train sets to accommodate commuters from Vereeniging during the period of suspension.

Metrorail urged commuters to be patient and understand the circumstances that led to the suspension of the service.

Mofokeng also appealed to communities to refrain from inconveniencing commuters by taking out their frustrations on infrastructure. – stevent@citizen.co.za