Security guard stoned to death by Soweto rail commuters

One security guard is dead while a second is in a critical condition in hospital after being attacked by commuters at Nancefield Station in Soweto – an act of criminality that has “saddened” the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu)‚ their union.

The two were employed as Protection Services personnel at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

“The motive for the stoning is not yet clear but it appears some commuters did not have tickets to board the train and when the two Protection Services officials confronted them‚ they stoned them‚” the union said in a statement about the incident‚ which occurred at 8am on Monday.

“The two officials were employed to ensure commuters were safe from petty criminals like pickpockets while at the station. Ironically‚ it is the same people they were employed to protect that turned on them.”

The union said Prasa posts two Protection Services members on each platform‚ bringing the total number of protection personnel at Nancefield to four. “Unfortunately‚ the other two members manning the opposite platform did not see the incident unfold. In addition‚ there are no CCTV cameras at the station making it difficult to identify the culprits immediately. However‚ police are still investigating.”

This is the second incident of this nature to occur in three years‚ the union said. (Sunday Times)

“We appeal to Prasa to take the safety of its staff to heart‚ bearing in mind that the majority are breadwinners responsible for the livelihood of extended families. We urge the rail agency to consider rolling out a commuter education campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dire consequence of careless actions such as the exorbitant financial loss caused by the torching of trains and the devastating unnecessary loss of life resulting from incidents like this.

“… The agency should also look into setting-up a tip-off mechanism through which law abiding commuters and other citizens can anonymously relay information that can assist in the apprehension of culprits. It goes without saying that the South African Police Services should also play its part.” (Sunday News)

June 2017
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