Cape Town - A 60-year-old train driver from Kraaifontein has shot and killed one of four robbers who attacked him.
The incident took place at the Kraaifontein train station at about 3am on Friday.
This was the second attack on the driver, only identified as JD Joubert, in one month.
Joubert resigned following the first attack on August 2, after 42 years in service of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
His last day of work is on September 30.
According to the United National Transport Union (Untu), a “traumatised” Joubert was arrested on a charge of murder. He was released on bail hours later.
Joubert was armed with his personal firearm, and the attack comes weeks after fellow driver Piet Botha was shot and killed while waiting for a train at Netreg station.
According to the union, Joubert was on his way to the train station’s office to sign the attendance register when the four men tried to rob him.
Joubert drew his licensed gun and fired, killing a 26-year-old attacker.
The other three ran off.
The union’s Steve Harris says Joubert has been advised by a Prasa-appointed lawyer not to make any statements about the incident.
Zino Mihi, corporate affairs manager for Prasa, says according to their statistics, Kraaifontein station was “medium” risk for crime.
In July, Piet Botha was robbed and killed and two suspects were later arrested after police viewed CCTV footage.
The day after the shooting, Metrorail workers downed tools, demanding increased safety for workers.
Mihi says arming train drivers was not part of Prasa’s plan to safeguard employees.
“As far as I could establish, there’s no policy that prohibits our employees from carrying licensed firearms,” he added.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said: “The circumstances surrounding the matter are being investigated and a death inquest case docket has been registered.”
Untu’s Harris says their members “are up in arms”.
“We are unable to calm them. This is the third life lost in two months after the senseless killing of Botha, and a male security guard, 33, who was shot in the head by two armed robbers while patrolling the line between Heideveld and Nyanga,” he says.
“How many more people need to die before Prasa and the government will act?”