Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula visited Cape Town station on Thursday after an arson attack and said CCTV footage has revealed that four perpetrators were behind the incident.
He would not elaborate on who the suspects were. The blaze, which devastated two trains and 18 carriages, caused damage amounting to R61 million.
“We are under no illusion that the recent cancellation of security contracts by Prasa is a contributing element to the heightened lawlessness.
“Some of these acts of criminality are staged in order to force Prasa’s hand to continue with an arrangement that was not only found irregular by the auditor-general and the public protector but one that has exposed Prasa to inside jobs,” he said.
Mbalula said the suspects should be charged not only with arson but also with economic sabotage.
“Police must do their job to find them working with Prasa security and so on. Anyone who did this trash here has been positively identified and will be found,” Mbalula said.
He reiterated his claim that a syndicate was behind the sabotage, saying: “When we catch these ones, we want to say to them they must bring their bosses. This lawlessness must end.”
The minister said authorities were intensifying efforts to protect rail infrastructure.
“Our intention is to upgrade and ensure that we deal with security issues,” he said.
Mbalula added that he had already made contact with Police Minister Bheki Cele regarding rail crime.
Metrorail said early indications were that an accelerant was used.