Fourteen Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) guards, arrested in an early-morning raid of the agency’s headquarters while allegedly trying to steal vehicles, have been axed.
The group was fired following a disciplinary process, with Prasa board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama saying the outcome of this hearing was testimony to its resolve to root out criminal elements and corruption in the agency.
“The attempted theft by our own security of a large number of new vehicles waiting to be deployed to regions to deliver much-needed services to commuters is indicative of an organisation that could fast lose its purpose if we don’t intervene timeously,” she said.
In November, police pounced on the members of the agency’s protection services unit at Prasa House in Pretoria after guards from the University of Pretoria reported suspicious activities.
The group faces charges including attempted robbery and assault. The 14 are out on bail.
The prosecution rejected the group’s claim they were conducting a sanctioned simulation to test security as improbable.
Prasa boss Dr Nkosinathi Sishi said it was shocking that the group not only tried to steal vehicles, but severely assaulted fellow employees under the guise of a simulation to test the agency’s security.
Police statements detailed how they scaled the perimeter wall, pointed guns at the guards and tied them up before severely assaulting them while demanding keys to the minibuses.