DAYLIGHT ROBBERY: There have been attacks on the Central line, but now these crimes appear to have spread, with a vicious attack on four Untu staff on the Northern line on Wednesday. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - With the Central line being closed it seems crime has spilled over to other railway routes.

On Wednesday, members of the United National Transport Union (Untu) threatened to stop services on the Northern line after an attack on a 35-year-old ticket control officer and three of her colleagues, near Somerset West station.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said a case of common robbery is being investigated and no one has been arrested at this stage.

“According to information just before 7am, the victim was busy checking tickets on the train between Firgrove and Somerset West when an unknown man grabbed the ticket machine by force before fleeing with cash and a cellphone,” Rwexana said.

Dismayed Untu spokesperson Sonja Carstens said Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and the SAPS continue to neglect preventing criminals from attacking their members on duty.

“All four employees are Untu members. They were working on train 3203 when they were robbed by four armed men and a woman just before the Somerset station. One of the employees was stabbed in the head.

Prasa also failed to ensure that these employees get debriefed after the traumatic ordeal,” Carstens said.

She said the union was unhappy with the poor reporting and said the case was supposed to be robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Patrolling security. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott they are aware of the incident.

“The Rapid Rail Police Unit Bellville were notified and attended to the incident. Procedure is to also report it immediately to Metrorail’s Protection Services department to take account of any developing crime trends and share the information with SAPS so that security resources can be deployed.”

She said that it was important that PRASA  employees raised such issues with supervisors and they have access to Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) to assist in dealing with the aftermath of such trauma.

 “We encourage UNTU to follow procedure so that these issues can be appropriately addressed,” Scott added.

[email protected]

Cape Argus