Train crash: Union refutes claim by Prasa
01 February 2013 | Valeska Abreu
The National Transport Movement (NTM) union has accused the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) of employing a “rusty” train driver to operate the train that left hundreds injured in an accident on Thursday.
Prasa CEO, Mossengwa Mofi, earlier claimed that the accident on the railway line between Cor Delfos and Saulsville could have been an act of sabotage by striking train drivers. He said that cable theft was the root problem of the accident and said he suspected the unions were involved.
Ephraim Mphahlele, president of NTM, refuted the allegations and claimed that Prasa had employed a driver who had not driven a train for the last two years.
“The driver of that train was currently on a written warning for incidents of a similar nature. Prasa has a problem to operate now because most of the drivers are on strike, so they reinstate any driver to operate the trains regardless of the circumstances. Then they want to blame us. That is nonsense,” he said.
Mphahlele said that they would consider taking legal action against Prasa.
“We cannot let our good reputation be tarnished like this. We are peaceful strikers. Most of our members use the trains to commute to and from work so why would be damage the trains. We have consulted with our lawyers, and legal action will most likely be taken.”
Mphahlele said that the strike would continue until Prasa “came to their senses and recognised the union.”
Prasa was unavailable for comment at the time.