Grieving family asks Nzimande to improve railway safety
The family of a Tshwane couple that perished during a train crash last week has pleaded with government to resolve problems with the country's rail system.
Transport minister Blade Nzimande visited the family of Dick Sekoma, 38, and his wife Sarah Sekoma, 39, in Soshanguve on Wednesday morning.
The couple died when two trains collided at the Mount View train station, north of Pretoria. They were travelling with three of their six children at the time of the train accident which left more than 600 people injured.
The family's spokeswoman Tsakane Nkumane said they were devastated by the deaths.
"We want government to fix trains because they are placing the lives of people at risk. These six children should have never lost their parents," Nkumane said.
She said the family was struggling to cope. "We are in tears," Nkumane said.
Nzimande shared words of comfort with the grieving family while assuring them that his department would work hard to deal with the issues.
He said it was important to deal with the root cause behind the crashes instead of blaming ordinary workers.
Nzimande said it was concerning that there was hectic understanding amounting to billions of rands which could have been used to install proper rail technology.
Last week the Rail Safety Agency had released a damning preliminary report on the crash which reflected that a communication breakdown and the use of manual signalling were the cause of the crash.
The report also stated that the signalling system had issues since November last year. Both trains were travelling along the same line on the Pretoria-Mabopane route when they crashed into each other.
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