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CT rail infrastructure being sabotaged, say authorities

In the space of just a week, there have been three separate incidents in the city which have seen passenger train coaches laid to waste.

The wreckage of a train at the Cape Town train station following a fire on 21 July 2018. Picture: Prasa

CAPE TOWN - Authorities in Cape Town are crying sabotage following a string of train fires.

In the space of just a week, there have been three separate incidents in the city which have seen passenger train coaches laid to waste.

In the latest incident, three carriages were badly damaged in a blaze at Cape Town station, the second at the rail facility this month.

Last Thursday, a train was allegedly set alight at Retreat station.

A total of 149 train carriages have been damaged in the Western Cape by fire in the past 15 months.

Over the weekend, yet another train was set alight at the Cape Town station. Fire and Rescue Services were deployed to extinguish a fire on platforms 13 and 14. This was the third train attack in the city in a week.

Cape Town rail infrastructure is under attack, according to Prasa, Metrorail and the City of Cape Town.

Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott: "The incident was the sixth recorded this year, bringing the total number of carriages lost to a staggering 149 since May 2015."

The city’s Brett Herron has urged citizens to report any arson attacks.

"What is very concerning is the fire and destruction of our trains appears to be organised, well orchestrated, well planned and in my view there is some sinister force at play, hell bent at destroying our rail system."

A special task team has been set up by Transport Minister Blade Nzimande. It comprises the SA Police Services, local and national government, and the NPA.

Nzimande says it will conclude its investigations by the end of next month.