Burning Buses Cause Traffic Mayhem
Yesterday, 25 April, two buses were destroyed by fire within 3 hours, causing massive traffic congestion on the N2. At around 2:20pm a Golden Arrow bus caught fire as it waited to load passengers at the CBD Terminal next to Golden Acre. Then just before 5pm, at Hospital Bend on the N2, a MyCiti Bus ablaze in the middle lane, compelled traffic to be diverted to the outgoing M3. J.P. Smith, on behalf of the city of Cape Town, reported that the bus had no passengers onboard and the driver had stopped in the middle lane of the N2 on Hospital Bend and escaped, reporting that the engine compartment of the bus had caught fire and quickly engulfed the vehicle.
Train Arsonist Boasts in Court That He Was Responsible
The day before, 24 April, Thobela Xoseni appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates Court and loudly declared through his Xhosa translator: “I set the trains on fire! I burnt the trains!” Reporters observed that Xoseni was smiling as he appeared in the court. The Mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato, reported on 22 April 2019, that the train coaches lost in the Cape Town station blaze represented a monetary loss of R33 Million to the city’s transportation supplies, Metrorail.
Most Trains Targeted for Arson are in the Western Cape
Transport Minister, Blade Nzimande, responded to a parliamentary question that 214 trains were burned in arson attacks in South Africa in the past 3 years, with 175 of them torched in the Western Cape. 69 coaches were burned in 2016. 41 coaches were burned in 2017. 65 coaches were burned in 2018. The Western Cape suffered 56 coaches out of the 65 burned in 2018. 8 incidents took place in Gauteng and one in KwaZulu-Natal.
Cape Town is the Main Target
Of the 174 trains burned in the Western Cape since 2015, 60 were burned in Cape Town, 23 in Kraaifontein, 16 in Retreat and the rest at various stations across the province, but mainly within the Cape Town metropolitan area.
Massive Cost to Cape Taxpayers
According to PRASA (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa), train fires in the last three and a half years have incurred a loss to the taxpayer of over R636 Million. 71% of this, or R451 Million worth of damage, due to arson to trains occurred in the Western Cape. This did not include the damage to Cape Town station of R150 Million. Those were all figures discussed at the end of last year and does not include the train fires of 2019.
No Effective Deterrent to Arsonists in ANC Ruled South Africa
Richard Walker, Regional Head of Metrorail, stated that legislation needs to be amended, to act as a deterrent for train arsonists as they can currently only be charged for malicious damage to property because trains were not regarded as a fixed structure.
Mayor Blames ANC Government for Lawless Destruction
The Mayor of Cape Town observed: “Cape Town Central Station has been the target of at least 7 and possibly 8 separate arson incidents since July 2018. Surely after the first incident you put the most stringent measures in place to ensure that this doesn’t happen again? How is it that criminals can so brazenly burn our trains time and again and get away with it? If we are to maintain law and order in the city there needs to be consequences for criminal actions and it is only national government’s SA Police Service, through the detective services and the National Prosecuting Authority who can get results with these cases.”
Three Police Stations Torched
Also on 24 April, it was reported that a 3rd Police Station in the Western Cape was torched, with 250 dockets going up in smoke. Police in the Western Cape are investigating a case of arson after an early morning inferno on 21 April gutted the Ravensmead Detectives offices, destroying over 250 criminal dockets and an internal server. This was the 3rd arson attack reported on South African Police Service (SAPS) premises in the Western Cape in one month. The other two were at Bellville and Klapmuts, earlier in April. The Ravensmead building has since been declared unsafe.
Labour Disputes Disrupt Police Service
Tensions in the SAPS have been reported as running high, with threatened go-slows and strikes by SAPS members, unhappy with reported delays in promotions, resulting in a backlog of 69,214 promotions since 2011.
Disastrous Effects on Economy
The evident lack of respect for life and property, as well as waste of millions of Rands of property and thousands of hours of travellers frustrate over interrupted schedules. These incidents have a disastrous impact on the economy.
Lawless Violence Steals from Everyone
Rampant arson, apparently with impunity, has a catastrophic impact on any economy, chasing away investors and employers, driving down the value of the Rand, stealing from everyone as the Rand/Dollar and Pound exchange rates become more and more punitive to South Africans. The end result is millions more unemployed. The catastrophic chaos and havoc wrecked at peak traffic times, coming along with the general failure of both national and provincial governments to protect lives and property, are even more compelling evidence of the general failure of government. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.” Proverbs 14:34
Hollow Promises from Hypocritical Politicians
As South Africans prepare to go to election polls 8 May, it seems bizarre that those very politicians and parties most responsible for the failure to keep the lights on, the failure to keep the water flowing, the failure to deal with litter, pollution, crime and violence, continue to make hollow and hypocritical promises, expecting voters to re-elect the same corrupt criminals responsible for the disastrous situation, which increasingly, afflicts every one of us. “But select capable men from all the people - men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain - and appoint them as officials…” Exodus 18:21
Dr. Peter Hammond
Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
Cape Town South Africa
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