31 January 2013

South Africa: Satawu Press Statement On Calamitous Metrorail Accident

SATAWU is traumatically concerned and deeply worried by the horrific Metrorail train accident that took place this morning at Tshwane where 150 people were injured.

We wish a speedy recovery to all the commuters, whom primarily are the exploited poor workers and their children who daily depend on the Metrorailservices to their workplaces, schools, hospitals and other services.

We further send our heartfelt message of solidarity and support to our member, the badly injured train driver, one amongst the many workers who transport over a million citizens daily using the Metrorail services.

We also feel and understand the most insurmountable pain our train driver member is currently suffering, the one beyond serious physical accident injuries, but the pain of unintentionally exposing fellow workers commuting to work to lives threatening traumatic accident.

We urge the management of PRASA RAIL that is overseeing the Metrorail operations to act swiftly and leave no stone unturned in its investigation of the cause of the accident and plead that the law must apply to any culprit who has been found to cause such an amount of crime against the workers and the state.

SATAWU is however concerned that there are serious allegations of sabotage and treachery circulating both in the public and transport industry circles by individuals who are associated with the history of hooliganism decoyed as trade unionism.

In the recent past weeks our members at PRASA received threats and some were physically assaulted by a group of hooligans that have told all and sundry that their job is to make all state transport entities ungovernable until a certain NGO is recognized as a union in those entities.

Our members and leaders have received deaths threats and constantly been harassed by the same hooligans who are alleged to be behind this attempted treasonous crime.

The accident is directly linked to the burning of coaches that has happened in the past week.

While we as SATAWU do not seek to at any stage become praise singers of the management of PRASA particularly on employment relations’ matters, we fully support their efforts in flushing out criminals that are within the company disguising as unionists.

If the acts of hooligans continue to be tolerated it means our country is slowly degenerating into a lawless fiefdom where justice is eroded.

The hooligans must be investigated, arrested, tried and be isolated away from our noble society.

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