A Metrorail Access Controller was left with bad bruising on her face and had her left arm broken, after seven thugs of commuters pulled and pushed her to the ground at the Benoni Station, whilst trying to leave the platform without paying for their train ride.

Nonny Tladi (37), a member of the United National Transport Union, who has been employed by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) as from 2012, says she is heartbroken.

“I am humiliated. I am sore. I fell on my stomach with my left-hand underneath me, after a lady started to pull and push me with six men helping her.

“This happened at 07:00 Tuesday morning. It would not have happened had there been a security guard on duty with me at the access gate. It would also not have happened if there was one of the so called rapid rail police officials in sight,” Tladi told UNTU.

She feels that she has been loyal to her employer, dedicated to putting the derailed passenger rail service back on track to becoming profitable, and in return she expects her employer to ensure that she works in a safe working environment.

“I am the mother of three minor children. I want to see them grow up. This is the first time that I have been attacked, but once before I was threatened with a knife. It is dangerous to work on the trains. Unfortunately, there are people using the trains that feel nothing for the lives of others. I cannot speak from the grave,” says Nonny.

Eddie de Klerk, Acting General Secretary of UNTU, says UNTU submitted its application to the Western Cape High Court today for a court order to force Prasa to fulfil its obligation, in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Labour Relations Act and the Constitution and to improve safety on the notorious Central Line between Cape Town and Langa in the Western Cape.

The Union asked the Court to direct Prasa to establish an armed mobile reaction unit where members would be stationed at Netreg, Mitchells Plain and Chris Hani stations. UNTU also asked the Court to order Prasa to establish a joint task team comprised of the Union, other representative Unions and the police to develop a long-term strategy for commuter safety in Prasa.

De Klerk says if UNTU succeeds with this application it will have a strategic effect on Prasa to drastically improve the security at all its premises in the rest of the country. The Union applied that the application must be granted an expedited court date due to the frequency of incidents on the Central Line, in the rest of the Western Cape, in Durban and the surrounding areas of KwaZulu-Natal and in the surrounding areas of Johannesburg in Gauteng.

For more information Contact Eddie De Klerk on 082 567 6638.

Issued on behalf of UNTU by Sonja Carstens, Media and Liaison Officer.

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