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WC residents take on train station criminals

Some Gugulethu residents have begun foot patrols to combat crime along railway lines in the area.

FILE: Hundreds of Metrorail commuters are waiting on platforms at Cape Town station hoping trains will arrive. Picture: Mia Spies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Some Gugulethu residents have begun foot patrols to combat crime along railway lines in the area.

This includes a section of the central line which has been plagued by vandalism and theft in recent weeks.

Vandals cut cables which paralysed services on the Philippi, Nyanga and Mitchell's plain route a week ago.

Local residents have banded together to patrol the section of railway line between Nyanga junction and Heideveld station.

A resident says they started the patrols in February.

Pointing to a window frame from a train lying between the tracks, he says vandalism on trains and on the line is rampant.

Residents say they begin patrols before dawn every morning and are there when commuters return at night.

'SABOTAGE' INVESTIGATED

Western Cape police say an investigation into alleged sabotage that paralysed Cape Town's rail network will be intelligence driven.

Metrorail laid charges of malicious damage to property and sabotage after cables were cut and track boxes and signals damaged.

Major-General David Molo, head of the detective service in the Western Cape, says 22 dockets have so far been opened and some arrests made.

He told members of the Western Cape legislature's standing committee on transport and public works that the arrests aren't directly linked to the alleged sabotage.

Molo says the investigation won't be left to individual police stations.

Metrorail received a temporary interdict against 94 former employees at one of its private security providers which the rail operator believes are implicated in the alleged sabotage.

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