Capetonians are urged to take up the offer of a R100 000 reward for information leading to the successful conviction of those responsible for the Cape Town train station arson which damaged 18 coaches at an estimated value of R61 million during the early hours of last Thursday morning. Metrorail spokesperson Rianna Scott says the station is currently working at roughly 50 percent capacity and that officials are just as frustrated as every day commuters by these attacks.
“The image of the one person of interest has been released and we really want to encourage people to come forward,” said Scott.
“Aside from the reward money that would be very handy in this depressed economy, I think it’s civic duty. If you know who the person is, or suspect that person and can assist us with the investigation, it’s your civic duty to come forward… We share the frustration – more than anybody else we are frustrated…”
Scott says that communities are reaching “the end of their tether” with these acts of criminality and destruction and that they are increasingly coming forward with tips and useful information which lead to arrests. She also indicated that Prasa is working with police and is assisting as far as they can in finding those responsible for the attacks.
Although Scott explained that it’s difficult to speculate on who is to blame at this stage, she added that “rumours are bound [to come out]” and that they have learned to “take note of all the rumours” because “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” Every entity, group or individual who could benefit from these attacks has been noted and will be considered during the investigation.
Footage of the arson captured four people committing the crime but to date only one image of one suspect has been released as a point of reference.
Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker recently commented that “It is not a coincidence that fires are set with intent to cause extensive damage and delays” and that “Crime intelligence support the notion that the place, timing and type of vandalism is orchestrated and targeted to create chaos and destroy essential state infrastructure, placing a strain on the country’s fiscus during a depressed economy.”
“A shrinking base of taxpayers are ultimately having to fund the replacement of the infrastructure while the criminals behind the scenes remain unscathed.”
The train arson attacks have been labelled by Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula as acts of economic sabotage.
Any information relevant to the case can be given to Sergeant Williams, who is the investigating officer, at 078 037 5969.