CAPE TOWN – The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has suspended its head of security in the Western Cape, along with two security officers, in connection with a train fire at Cape Town station.
A train was torched on platform 13 over the Easter long weekend, which led to another train catching fire.
Twelve coaches were destroyed, resulting in damages amounting to R33 million.
Prasa said on Friday the suspensions were pending the outcome of an investigation into whether there was a security lapse that resulted in the burning of the two trains.
Prasa group strategy officer Sipho Sithole said: “We’ve served a notice of intention to suspend Iliso security company that provides security services at the train station.”
A suspect, Thobela Xoseni, was arrested a day after the fire and has since appeared in court.
Meanwhile, Lobby group Unite Behind said that the latest train torching in Cape Town drives home its point that the rail crisis needs to be declared a national disaster.
Last week, several civil society groups called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare the state of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa an emergency, and for the army can be deployed to protect rail infrastructure.
Unite Behind organizer Lumkile Sizile said the latest incident is proof of the severity of the situation.
The court ordered Xoseni to go for a psychiatric assessment, and he will remain in police custody in the meantime.