Mbalula condemns torching of 24 Shosholoza Meyl coaches

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula briefs media about operations and air travel safety at OR Tambo International airport in Kempton Park, 24 November 2019. Picture: Neil McCartney

The old coaches were reportedly out of service and earmarked for refurbishment when they were set alight.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has slammed the torching of 24 Shosholoza Meyl coaches in Bloemfontein on Sunday, describing the incident as senseless.

The old coaches were out of service and earmarked for refurbishment when they were set alight, according to Mbalula.

“The arson, which will cause an estimated R90 million worth of damages, is a pure act of criminality and will be dealt with as swiftly and as harshly as possible.

“Security personnel noticed a group of young men at the yard and removed them from the property. The youths later returned and set fire to two coaches,” he said.

Mbalula said services were not disrupted.

“However, the fire has affected rolling stock availability and damaged critical cables at the depot. Investigations continue. No arrests have been made,” he said.

Police confirmed on Sunday that they were investigating a case of arson.

The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) has asked members of the public who have further information to come forward.

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