The train accident that took place in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria yesterday was a result of sabotage carried out by striking train drivers, Metrorail says.
The accident resulted in hundreds of passengers being injured when the train crashed into the rear of a stationary train. The train driver was hospitalised and is in a critical condition.
Metrorail explained that cable theft reported shortly after midnight had turned off the automated signal system, which forced Metrorail to operate the trains manually. A train was then authorised in an engaged line, bringing about the crash.
Metrorail chief executive Mosenngwa Mofi added it suspected the cable theft was sabotage by those leading the drivers’ strike.
Former Tshwane councillor and the secretary-general of the Gauteng Civic Association, Themba Ncalo, said people were concerned about the increase in train accidents. He also urged Metrorail to bring back proper security services to prevent future cable theft. However, Transport Minister Ben Martins said although there were precautions against cable theft, it still remained a huge challenge. “We want the justice and security cluster to start considering it as an act of attempted homicide,” he said.
The Railway Safety Regulator and Metrorail reported the matter to be under investigation.