Final journey for slain train driver
TRAIN driver Nare Mashamaite, who was sexually molested and strangled, was buried at Silicon Cemetery in Polokwane, Limpopo, at the weekend.
Her two children, Katlego and Popi, wept as the coffin was lowered to the ground.
The funeral was attended by Limpopo MEC for roads and transport Pitsi Moloto, MEC for economic development, environment and tourism Pinky Kekana, school children and Transnet employees.
Transnet employees also rendered a musical item during the service at home.
A goods train driver, Mashamaite, 48, of Legaela batho-Polokwane in Limpopo, was found strangled and left naked after she was ambushed.
The tragedy happened at Makhado (formerly Louis Trichardt) train station on Monday morning last week.
Mashamaite was with her assistant driver when the incident happened. They both were about to leave the station in a train destined for Polokwane.
They heard a strange noise and thought the train had a mechanical problem. The two went out to investigate the source of the noise. But Mashamaite was grabbed from behind, and her colleague fled when she heard her screaming.
After the funeral service, mourners told Sowetan that Transnet must ensure the safety of train drivers on night duty or when trains are having mechanical problems.
Transnet Freight Rail chief executive Siyabonga Gama said they wereshocked and mourning the death of their colleague.
Gama said Transnet condemned the tragic and brutal act.
Mashamaite joined Transnet as an assistant train driver in 2001 and, because of her dedication, was promoted to train driver in 2008 .
Gama pleaded with security and police officers to assist Transnet in apprehending and bringing to justice the perpetrators.
"We have lost a vibrant employee in Polokwane, a soldier, a counsellor, an adviser, a caring mother and hard worker," Gama said.
MEC Moloto said that on behalf of the provincial government they had lost a dedicated woman who was putting up the economy of the province through tirelessly delivering goods.
"We are pleading with Transnet to groom more young women to be train drivers within the province and we are pleading for the safety of women when on duty because most of the time they are driving at night," Moloto said.
"The provincial government pays tribute and honour the deceased, who travelled day and night fearlessly."
Mashamaite's brother and family spokesman, Duke Mashamaite thanked Transnet for the support to the family during their difficult time.
He said the family were still shocked by the gruesome murder of her sister. He hoped that the culprits would be brought to book.
A friend and colleague, Patricia Mongau, said Mashamaite was a good train driver and motivated her to keep driving trains without fear or undermining herself.
Mongau said she would miss a real friend and motivator.
SAPS provincial spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said no one had been arrested over the murder, but police were working tirelessly to find the perpetrators.
Mulaudzi also appealed to the community to assist police with information that could help them resolve the case. - email@example.com