Pretoria - The driver of one of the trains that were involved in the deadly Mountain View crash has been fired, the United National Transport Union (Untu) said on Monday.
Last month, three people were killed and hundreds injured after two trains collided at the Mountain View station.
The crash resulted in the temporary closure of the Pretoria north corridor, with the line reopening two weeks later.
After the crash, it emerged that the cause of the accident was a result of a breakdown in communication between a control officer and the driver of the second train.
Untu in a statement, confirmed the driver's dismissal and accused the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) of deliberately flouting the Labour Relations Act (LRA) in firing the driver.
According to Untu general secretary Steve Harris, the traumatised train driver, who is still on sick leave, was only given 72 hours to explain why he should not be dismissed for alleged gross misconduct.
"After he did not respond, he got another letter from his employer stating that 'due to the seriousness of the matter' and his failure to respond, the employer considers his conduct as unbecoming and found that he is unable to perform his duties.
Harris slammed the dismissal, saying it was totally unacceptable and absurd.
He accused Prasa of looking for a scapegoat after Transport Minister Blade Nzimande called on Prasa management to account for the accident.
“Nobody can be fired without a fair trial and Untu has no doubt that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) will rule in favour of the train driver.
"Unfortunately, the CCMA is flooded with disputes after the National Minimum Wage were implemented on 1 January 2019 and it might take a lengthy time before justice is done for the train driver".IOL