25 year prison sentences for Metrorail train driver killers welcomed
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Justice has finally been served following the murder of Pieter “Piet” Botha on 11 July 2016. Judge Mark Sher handed down two 25 year sentences to Jathiem Hamid and Dorian Diedericks who were earlier convicted for the murder. This sentence follows the two young men’s conviction last month.
The two convicted murderers are said to be members of the notorious “Young Dixie Boys” gang.
We welcome the sentence handed down by Judge Sher as appropriate and fitting for the heinous crime that the two men committed. We hope that this sentence will serve as a deterrent to other would-be offenders seeking to target the rail network and threaten the safety of both commuters and Metrorail employees.
Prior to, and since the killing of Mr Botha, the Western Cape Government has been working with Metrorail and various other partners to look at ways to improve security in the rail network. Just this year, following the City of Cape Town’s Rail Summit, a Rail Management Task Team, chaired by me, as the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, was established comprising members from the Western Cape Government, The City of Cape Town, PRASA, Metrorail, as well as the private sector. The aim of the task team is to focus specifically on improving security in the network, with a view to deploying additional security personnel in the near future.
I wish to echo the sentiment I conveyed to the Botha family at Piet’s memorial service on 14 July 2016, wishing them healing and strength in their time of grief. It is my sincere hope that they can now begin to find closure and acceptance.
I should like to echo Judge Sher’s sentiments and commend the SAPS and the NPA for the tremendous hard work and dedication they put into ensuring a conviction, and that justice was served.