A female train driver was stripped naked, hit with a brick and dragged into the thickets during the ongoing attack on trains along the Pretoria to Piennarspoort corridor, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said on Wednesday.
“Amongst some of the criminality that took place yesterday [Tuesday] includes the senseless attack of Prasa female train driver who was mobbed, hit on the head with a brick, stripped of her clothing and was being dragged to nearby bushes when they were intercepted by Prasa response teams. An additional ten Prasa employees were also attacked during this incident,” the agency said.
“Prasa is dismayed at the catastrophic levels of crime against is employee and assets. The vandalism and criminality is widespread and demands a higher intervention by all interested parties including the community,” said CEO Cromet Molepo.
Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi condemned the violent attacks on trains and workers.
“We cannot allow criminal elements and hooligans to disrupt rail services in our communities and damage public transport infrastructure. Law enforcement agencies must act to bring those responsible for these senseless attacks to book,” Vadi said.
He called on commuters to work with Metrorail security services and law enforcement agencies to ensure those responsible for acts of vandalism are brought to book.
Prasa said it was holding a series of meetings with various stakeholders following the attack.
“We are very worried about the psychological impact such attacks have on our employees as a whole. Last year a member of the security team was killed by a mob whilst on duty during service delivery protests that spilled onto our service Gauteng. Meanwhile in Cape Town and Durban our members are robbed at gun point and some even stabbed whilst doing their job.”
The agency said a total of six new trains have been vandalised along the Pretoria and Piennarspoort line at a cost of R 6.5 million in one year.