JOHANNESBURG – Train services remain suspended in Nancefield, Soweto on Tuesday afternoon following the death of a Prasa guard and a-17-year-old boy in the area.
It appears the guard was stoned to death by angry community members on Monday. The boy was shot dead during a squabble.
Nancefield community members have been protesting over service delivery.
The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) said two of its members employed by Prasa (the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) were stoned by commuters at Nancefield Station in Soweto on Monday morning.
“One died on the scene and the other is in hospital in a critical condition. The motive for the stoning is not yet clear, but it appears some commuters did not have tickets to board the train and when the two protection services officials confronted them – they stoned them,” the union said in a statement.
Satawu expressed its sympathies to the members’ families.
“The two officials were employed to ensure commuters were safe from petty criminals like pickpockets while at the station. Ironically, it is the same people they were employed to protect who turned on them,” it said.
Satawu said this was the second incident of this nature to occur in three years, although regular violent attacks on train drivers by commuters had been reported in recent times.
“We appeal to Prasa to take the safety of its staff to heart bearing in mind that the majority are breadwinners responsible for the livelihood of extended families.”
The rail agency should launch a commuter education campaign and a tip-off mechanism through which law-abiding commuters and other citizens could anonymously give information that might assist in the apprehension of culprits.
PHOTO: © GCIS File: The Transport Department says it’s yet to decide on the court ruling setting aside a decision to dissolve the Prasa board.