Prasa welcomes arrest of six men, but notes possible ‘zama-zama’ issue

Some of the Prasa cables found with suspects, west of Johannesburg, 27 August 2020. Picture: Supplied

Prasa also noted that the mushrooming of shacks in several parts along Prasa rail networks made it challenging to identify suspects harvesting the agency’s network.

The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) has announced the recovery of some of its assets worth millions including the arrest of six men in connection with the massive bust, in the west of Johannesburg.

In a joint operation between the police and Prasa which led to the arrest of the suspects which are now being held at the Florida Police Station, officers tailed the investigation into the theft of copper cables including the signalling of equipment to the west of Johannesburg.

Officers, during the hunt for stolen items, were welcomed with gun fire by the suspects wielding high-calibre weapons. The suspects were later arrested by law enforcement.

“Among goods recovered is equipment used in illegal mining. This is fueling suspicion that elements involved in illegal mining, known as the zama-zamas, are now targeting rail infrastructure. Today’s operation between SAPS and Prasa is part of ongoing efforts by the rail agency working with the police and other stakeholders to curtail the economic sabotage against its network, which has been ramped up during the lockdown period,” Prasa said in a statement.

Prasa also noted that the mushrooming of shacks in several parts along Prasa rail networks made it challenging to identify suspects harvesting the agency’s network.

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