News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
2 Dec 2019
7:07 am

Prasa offering R100k reward for information on Cape Town train arsonists

News24 Wire

Security cameras captured four people committing the arson at Cape Town station last week, which cost R61 million in damages.

Picture for illustrative purposes. File photo: Ashraf Hendricks / GroundUp

A R100 000 reward has been offered for information that will lead to the conviction of four people believed to be behind an arson attack on two trains at Cape Town station last week.

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has offered the reward.

According to a Prasa statement on Sunday, security cameras captured the four people committing the arson which cost R61 million in damages.

Prasa is working with the police on the CCTV footage of the suspects and has called on all law enforcement agencies, commuters and the general public to assist in the identification of the suspects.

“Investigations and intelligence point to orchestrated sabotage within the Western Cape rail network, causing millions of rand in damage since the start of the sporadic spate of fires in 2015,” the statement read.

“An analysis of vandalism patterns leave little doubt that criminals are deliberately setting out to cause mayhem and delays.

“It is not a coincidence that fires are set with intent to cause extensive damage and delays,” Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker said.

“Crime intelligence support the notion that the place, timing and type of vandalism is orchestrated and targeted to create chaos and destroy essential state infrastructure, placing a strain on the country’s fiscus during a depressed economy.”

“A shrinking base of taxpayers are ultimately having to fund the replacement of the infrastructure while the criminals behind the scenes remain unscathed.”

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula labelled the act economic sabotage.

The two trains were set alight during the early hours of the morning on Friday.

The one train was at Platform 10 and the other at Platform 16. The fire soon spread to adjacent platforms, destroying two full trains and 18 carriages. It is believed that an accelerant was used.

News24 previously reported that Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato said more than 40 train sets, with at least 140 carriages, had been burnt over the past three years, “yet not a single person had been prosecuted”.

Prasa group CEO Dr Nkosinathi Sishi condemned the latest attack, saying there is no absolutely no justification for destroying state assets and inconveniencing thousands of commuters.

“This type of sabotage robs commuters of a reliable, safe and convenient rail service and compromises Metrorail’s ability to prepare and support Prasa’s modernisation process. The latest loss of capacity will exacerbate overcrowding and passenger comfort,” Sishi said.

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