The Crime Intelligence Division of the South African Police Service (SAPS) must prioritize the train fires in the Western Cape to establish what sinister third force is behind it.
The United National Transport Union (UNTU) is appalled that there have been no significant arrests by the SAPS for the spree of train fires all over the province in the last two years.
“Even with the increase in security of the rail enforcement unit in the Western Cape and the appointment of new private security companies, the fires continue, now only at more remote train stations,” says Sonja Carstens, UNTU Deputy-General Secretary responsible for media, liaison and communication.
Yesterday another three train coaches were destroyed at the Glencairn station. This is one of the stations currently being used to do test runs on the People’s Train, the new urban commuter train of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
These trains run without carrying any commuters.
The Union also calls on the National Prosecution Authority to charge suspects arrested for the vandalism of the railway infrastructure in accordance with the Criminal Matters Amendment Act 18 of 2015.
The Act is aimed at essential infrastructure-related offences and to regulate the imposition of a discretionary minimum sentence, which creates a new offence list relating to the essential infrastructure and assisting with the prevention of organised crimes.
The Act states that any person whom unlawfully and intentionally tampers with, damages or destroys essential infrastructures; or colludes with or assists another person in the commission, performance or carrying out of an activity whom knows or ought reasonably to have known or suspected that it is essential infrastructure, is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a period of imprisonment not exceeding 30 years or, in the case of a corporate body, a fine not exceeding R100 million.
Carstens says the Union is not aware of any accused who was found guilty of the vandalism of the railway infrastructure who has been sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.
Issued on behalf of UNTU by Sonja Carstens, Media, Liaison and Communication Officer. For UNTU press statements phone 082 463 6808 or e-mail email@example.com