WC Police Ombudsman asked to investigate SAPS failure to stop trains burning | Western Cape Government

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2019
(Provincial Cabinet, Western Cape Government)
405

WC Police Ombudsman asked to investigate SAPS failure to stop trains burning

28 November 2019

The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has written to Western Cape Police Ombudsman, Mr JJ Brand, requesting an urgent investigation into the Western Cape SAPS inability to resolve the deliberate attack on railway infrastructure in the Western Cape.

This follows after a fire took place at Cape Town Station between 2:20am and 4:53am this morning. It is reported that the fire began with two trains which were alight. Their blaze then spread to adjacent platforms destroying 18 carriages. This resulted in platforms 9 to 16 being closed and it disrupted the entire regional train service. It is alleged the train burning was deliberate as accelerant was used.

Minister Fritz said, “Thankfully, no injuries were reported. However, these incidents have a significant impact on the well-being of our citizens and the economy of the Western Cape. When trains cease to function, citizens cannot get to their places of work. Some are forced to pay for more expensive forms of transportation and revenue is lost from the already resource constrained Metrorail service in the province.”

“We have had several incidents of attacks on our train system over the past few months and police have been unable to bring anyone to book. I have therefore written to the Office of the Western Cape Police Ombudsman to request that he urgently investigate the inability of SAPS in the Western Cape to resolve this deliberate attack on the burning of trains. SAPS cannot afford to respond ex-post-facto and must take a proactive approach to preventing attacks on our railway infrastructure,” said Minister Fritz.

Minister Fritz added, “Anyone with any information is urged to immediately come forward and report such to their locals SAPS station or by calling SAPS on 08600 10111.”

The DA-led Western Cape Government remains committed to using every tool at its disposal to safeguard the residents of the province.

Attention broadcasters, please find English audio clip attached.

Media Enquiries: 

Cayla Ann Tomás Murray
Spokesperson for Minister Albert Fritz
Tel: 021 483 8550
Cell: 064 121 7959
Email: Cayla.murray@westerncape.gov.za   ­