MEC hails arrest in Umlazi train torching

MEC hails arrest in Umlazi train torching.
MEC hails arrest in Umlazi train torching.
Image: 123RF/ scanrail

KwaZulu-Natal transport‚ community safety and liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda has commended police for arresting a suspect implicated in the torching of a train in Umlazi‚ south of Durban.

The incident two weeks ago was sparked by train delays on September 21‚ and saw members of the community vandalising Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) property including a ticket office‚ four cars‚ and four train coaches.

Fearing for the safety of passengers and staff‚ Prasa suspended trains in the province for a week.

Kaunda said the provincial government had intervened and convened a series of meetings with all rail stakeholders‚ including commuters and law enforcement agencies‚ to devise a safety plan for the resumption of train operations.

The plan included tracing the suspects who were implicated in damaging Prasa property. One suspect was arrested at the weekend in Umlazi and is due to appear in the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Kaunda said the arrest would send a clear message that government would not tolerate lawlessness‚ resulting in damage to state property.

“We always appeal to members of the community that if they want to raise their concerns‚ they must do so within the prescripts of the law instead of resorting to violent protests‚” Kaunda said.

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