Trains in SA – Arson

Misdaad het ‘n groot stert van inkomste vir regering en versekerings/medies.   Plus 15% VAT in alle gevalle.  Waar is die veiligheid en beveiliging van al hierdie treinstasies heen, alles was in 1994 in plek?  Destyds was daar selfs ‘n Spoorwegpolisie.    Wie wen aan die einde met al hierdie tipe ekonomiese rewolusie en vernietiging?   Al wat opsigtelik is, is die verwisseling van ANC hande op alle vlakke van regering, bedoelende, sodra korrupsie beweer of iets kwansuis gedoen gaan word, word so iemand met ‘n ander een vervang en word “ondersoeke” van vooraf gedoen en verdere ondersoeke word eenvoudig vertraag.

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Wie is al hierdie terroriste wat met mening alles eenvoudig afbrand?   Is hierdie stasies en treine oop vir almal om in te loop, te brand en eenvoudig te verkas, hande te was as “onskuldig”?
Arson – Trains in South Africa

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Hoeveel besoedeling hou hierdie brande vir die publiek in wat blootgestel word aan gifgasse wat brand.  Selfs brandende motorbande is gifgasse.   Heelwat en die publiek word blootgestel, soms met mediese gevolge en tog, voer die polisie nie hul taak uit soos hulle moet nie.  Hierdie tipe rook benadeel nie net gesondheid nie, maar dit veroorsaak ook langdurige siektestoestande.

POISONOUS AND TOXIC POLLUTION TO EVERY HUMAN BEING – It is impossible a healthy situation at all.   And this is organised crime and part of the economic revolution of the ANC and EFF (George Soros)

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Daar is verskeie tipes van rook wat mens vandag kry – maar watter is die ergste – laat weet gerus wat is u opinie.   There are different types of pollution, smoke and toxic smoke, cars, tyres, burning trains and building – most are toxic.   Where are the different “Ministers” of Health, Environment, Local Authorities, MOH, Inspectors, Councillors?   The Bylaws, National legislations, etc.
Besoedeling : Rook

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2018
Thick clouds of black smoke poured out of Cape Town train station on Tuesday October 9 2018 as two trains burnt yet again in Cape Town’s CBD.

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2016

Kraaifontein

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2016
Authorities suspect arson to be the cause of a fire which engulfed at least two separate trains at the main railway station in Cape Town, Saturday evening. There were no reports of casualties at the time of writing. According to reports, the fire was successfully put under control after several firefighting trucks were quickly dispatched on site to prevent the blaze from spreading. Authorities suspect the cause of the fire to be an arson attack, but declined to speculate until a thorough investigation was conducted.

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A bitter dispute between the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and two unions is believed to be behind most of the arson attacks that have destroyed 60% of commuter trains.

However, this is not news to the parastatal, which has twice fired workers from its protection services department after they embarked on violent strikes that coincided with attacks on the rail network.

In both cases, the dismissed workers were reinstated. No criminal complaints were laid, and even though 214 carriages have been set alight since 2013, no-one has been convicted of arson.

At one point, Prasa argued in the Johannesburg labour court that “strikes by [our] employees are always accompanied by burning of trains”.    The statement was quoted in a judgment handed down in March 2016 after the dismissal of nearly 700 employees who joined a violent strike in 2013. The strike was organised by the National Transport Movement (NTM), a breakaway of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu).   Hell and fury then engulfed Cape Town’s Metrorail system, reducing what in 2015 was a fleet of more than 90 trains to 44 by October 2018.

When the first pillar of black smoke billowed out of Cape Town central station in October 2015, Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker pointed fingers at staff who had embarked on an unprotected strike in pursuit of wage parity and insourcing.     Walker publicly blamed “a small group of individuals in the union who have taken it upon themselves to further their own personal agenda”. He fired the 83 strikers.

But at the end of 2016, Prasa sent a delegation to Cape Town to facilitate a deal that reinstated the strikers – even though the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration is said to have ruled the dismissals fair. Walker confirmed the agreement but said he was not a signatory.

Satawu general secretary Jack Mazibuko said the then group CEO Collins Letsoalo brought in a third party, advocate Vuyani Ngalwana, to finalise the matter.    “Ngalwana listened to both parties and the outcome was binding,” said Mazibuko. “The senior counsel issued a recommendation to Prasa. They informed us verbally to say the outcome was in your favour, your members must go back to work.”

Prasa group CEO Sibusiso Sithole, who took over eight months ago, told the Sunday Times he was “not privy” to Ngalwana’s report.    According to Mazibuko, the agreement was simple – reinstate the workers and give them three months’ back pay. Prasa would then find a way to pay them the rest of the 10 months’ salary they were owed.    One of the strike leaders, Satawu shop steward Bulelani Ngxukumeshe, said he believed Prasa withheld Ngalwana’s report because “it was clear that it was something that was against them. They don’t want to share it with anyone.”

Several sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said the agreement – and the failure to investigate train fires – were an attempt by the Prasa board to win Satawu’s favour and satisfy political interests.    Sithole said from the current board’s perspective there had never been an unwillingness to investigate the fires.   “In fact, we have even gone further to approach the law enforcement agencies to help us in terms of understanding what is really happening,” he said.    “I can honestly say I was surprised that nothing at greater length and detail has been done about these matters, in spite of the fact that they have such an impact on the service and the credibility of the service we are offering.”

Mazibuko denied Satawu had orchestrated train fires in the Western Cape and pointed fingers back at Prasa. “The last train that was burnt last year, we physically went there and did our own assessments,” he said.

“How is it possible that you have deployed security officers there, you have surveillance cameras there, these trains keep being burnt but there is no-one who is apprehended?   “We agree with NTM in the allegation … that part of the Prasa management are involved in this thing.”   NTM president Ephraim Mphahlele, who is a former president of Satawu, said he had evidence that Prasa management had burnt trains and conducted acts of sabotage in an attempt to discredit unions.

“Prasa had been instructing protection services security guards to burn trains during the NTM strike and they were then accusing NTM members who were on strike of burning stations,” said Mphahlele.    To back up his claim he cited a civil dispute in which three Prasa security managers are suing a colleague for implicating them in giving instructions for staff to burn trains, damage infrastructure and even commit murder.

The managers were the same people called as witnesses in the labour court dispute between NTM and Prasa, and testified that they heard Mphahlele address NTM members on the first day of the strike in January 2013 and incite them to burn trains.   The civil case is still in progress and the complainants’ lawyer, Tiro Ramantsi, said the respondent had not yet filed an affidavit.

“No criminal charges have been instituted against any of our clients for damaging any Prasa property and we believe no grounds exist for such,” he said.   In the seven days after Mphahlele addressed workers, five trains were set alight, houses of non-striking members were petrol-bombed and railway infrastructure was sabotaged.

But the NTM leader said it would be “stupid” for members to burn the tools of their trade. “The police investigated and they couldn’t find a shred of evidence in respect of that,” he said.   NTM’s dismissed members were reinstated early last year after a labour appeal court judgment ordered that the organisation provide back pay estimated at up to R2bn.     “Our members are currently being paid on a month-to-month basis, but with regards to back payments they have not been paid yet,” said Mphahlele.   We have since litigated against Prasa. We will ultimately attach their goods, and then get them to be sold off in an auction. We know what we are legally entitled to.”

During the legal battle over the dismissals, Gauteng Metrorail manager Thembela Khulu told the labour court there had been “a serious breakdown of trust” between Prasa and the strikers, resulting in the torching of eight trains and other sabotage and violence. She said this meant it would be hard for Prasa to reinstate them.

Three former Prasa employees who spoke to the Sunday Times on condition of anonymity said managers were reluctant to act against those suspected of burning trains.

They said that during the 2013 strike a police crime intelligence team infiltrated union meetings at which train fires and attacks on infrastructure were allegedly planned.

But the investigation came to a halt after lead investigator Vusi Shongwe died in a car crash.

The vehicle he was driving was one of three that Prasa rented for the investigators, and a source who was close to the investigation at the time said he suspected the car had been tampered with.

• This article was produced independently by the Sunday Times newsroom as part of a year-long investigative journalism series with a strong multimedia focus. The series is supported by YouTube innovation funding awarded to TisoBlackstar Group by the Google News Initiative‚which aims to promote new ideas and strengthen newsrooms’ digital video skills around the world.

https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/news/2019-02-10-watch-whos-behind-the-six-year-wave-of-cape-town-train-fires/

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Arsonists blamed for torching of 214 trains in SA over past three years.   

A whopping 214 trains were burnt in suspected arson attacks in South Africa in the past three years, with 174 of them torched in the Western Cape.

Transport minister Blade Nzimande’s response to a parliamentary question revealed that most cases of arson took place in 216 when 69 coaches were burnt, compared to 65 in 2018 and 41 in 2017.     The Western Cape accounted for 56 of the 65 coaches burnt in 2018, with eight incidents taking place in Gauteng and one in KwaZulu-Natal.    Nzimande was responding to a written question from the EFF’s Thilivali Mulaudzi who wanted to know the number of passenger trains that were burnt in each of the past five years and the location of each incident.

Nzimande said the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) started collecting detailed information about train arson attacks only in 2015. “Prior to 2015 limited train burnings occurred due to arson and were classified under general vandalism,” he said.

Of the 174 coaches burnt in the Western Cape since 2015, 60 were burnt in Cape Town, 23 in Kraaifontein, 16 in Retreat and the rest at stations across the province – but mainly within the Cape Town metropole.

Eight trains were burnt in Gauteng in 2018, down from the nine burnt in 2017 and 11 in 2016, while only four such incidents took place in KwaZulu-Natal over the past three years, at KwaMashu and Umlazi stations.

The Vereeniging line, Germiston/Springs and Pretoria and Pretoria North stations were the most affected in Gauteng.

During a meeting to discuss a strategy to deal with the burning of trains, Prasa chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama told the National Assembly’s transport portfolio committee that many former Prasa service managers were disgruntled and were sabotaging the system to work against its executive. The meeting was held in October 2018 in parliament.

According to the parliamentary monitoring group, which records meetings in parliament, Kweyama likened the train arson attacks to “a national security threat,” and urged the state security agency to intervene and assist with intelligence gathering, investigation and identifying the threat.

At the same meeting, Prasa revealed that a loss of nearly R636m had been incurred due to train fires in the past three-and-a-half years, with the Western Cape contributing 71% or R451.6m to these losses. This excluded damage to Cape Town Station of R150m, the agency said.

https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2019-01-22-arsonists-blamed-for-torching-of-214-trains-in-sa-over-past-three-years/

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28 November 2019

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says the suspects behind the train fires must be charged with arson and economic sabotage.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says authorities have identified the culprits behind the devastating fire at Cape Town train station.

He says the perpetrators behind the suspected attack must be charged with arson and economic sabotage.

At least 18 train carriages were been destroyed in the fire that broke out on Thursday morning.   Metrorail had to temporarily shut down the station after its entire network was brought to a standstill. A limited train service is now running.   Mbalula says there’s been a calculated effort to paralyse the rail network in Cape Town.

AND ?   no investigations…

Those people who have done this have been identified. As to when the arrests will happen, it will depend on the police.

Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Transport

They’ve been identified and they are known…

Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Transport

Minister of Transport |Mr Fix

@MbalulaFikile

The burning of trains is violent and is an attack to the poor. We must all join in and condemn the acts of damage to services that help the most vulnerable amongst us to get to work and their homes.

Embedded video

Mbalula went on a walk-about with Cape Town’s Metrorail boss Richard Walker and other officials to assess the damage before holding a press briefing.

Minister of Transport |Mr Fix

@MbalulaFikile

We call upon organs of civil society, which include organisations like United Commuters’ Voice and #Unite Behind and many others, to champion the campaign against criminality in our railways. The duty to improve our commuter rail service is a collective one.

Minister of Transport |Mr Fix

@MbalulaFikile

Over time, Metrorail has been a target of criminal acts which have had a devastating effect on the service. These acts have far reaching implications for the economy and the commuters who rely on our trains to get to work every day. https://twitter.com/MbalulaFikile/status/1200038388319035394 

Minister of Transport |Mr Fix

@MbalulaFikile

In the early hours of this morning, 2 train sets were set alight at Cape Town station this morning. This resulted in the gutting of 18 coaches with the damage estimated at R61 million. Over the last 5 years, 213 coaches were lost due to arson at a cost of R643 million.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Minister of Transport |Mr Fix

@MbalulaFikile

In the early hours of this morning, 2 train sets were set alight at Cape Town station this morning. This resulted in the gutting of 18 coaches with the damage estimated at R61 million. Over the last 5 years, 213 coaches were lost due to arson at a cost of R643 million.

Embedded video

http://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/368372/watch-arsonists-behind-cape-town-train-fires-are-known-says-minister-mbalula

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