The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) condemns in the strongest terms the brutal attack on Nonny Tladi a female Metrorail Access Controller and member of the United National Transport Union (UNTU), a FEDUSA affiliate in the rail passenger sector.
Seven commuters who wanted to board the train without paying at Benoni Station brutally pushed Tladi to the ground, leaving her with a broken arm and a severely bruised face.
“This happened at 07:00 on Tuesday morning. It would not have happened had there been a security guard on duty with me at the access gate. It would also not have happened if one of the so called rapid rail police officials were in sight,” says Tladi (37) who has been employed by Prasa (the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) since 2012.
“I am humiliated. I am sore. I fell on my stomach with my left-hand underneath me after a lady stated to pull and push me with six men helping her”.
Tladi says she has always been loyal to her Prasa, dedicated to turning the derailed passenger rail service back on track to becoming a profitable and in return expected her employer to ensure that she works in a safe environment.
“I am the mother of three minor children. I want to see them growing up. This is the first time that I have been attacked, but once before I was also threatened with a knife. It is dangerous to work on the trains. Unfortunately, there are elements using the trains that feel nothing for the lives of others. I cannot speak from the grave,” she said.
Eddie de Klerk, Acting General Secretary of UNTU, says UNTU submitted its application to the Western Cape High Court today for a court order to force Prasa to fulfil its obligation in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Labour Relations Act and the Constitution and to improve safety on the notorious Central Line between Cape Town and Langa in the Western Cape.
The Union asked the Court to direct Prasa to establish an armed mobile reaction unit reaction unit whose members would be stationed at Netreg, Mitchells Plain and Chris Hani stations. UNTU also ask the Court to order Prasa to establish a joint task team comprised of the Union, other representative unions and the police to develop a long-term strategy for commuter safety in Prasa.
De Klerk says if UNTU succeed with this application if will have a strategic effect on Prasa to drastically improve the security at all its premises in the rest of the country. The Union applied that the application must be granted an expedited court date due to the frequency of incidents on the Central Line, in the rest of the Western Cape, in Durban and the surrounding area of KwaZulu-Natal and in the surrounding areas of Johannesburg in Gauteng.
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FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry. See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.
For interviews please contact:
Eddie de Klerk
UNTU Acting General Secretary
Cell: 082 567 6638
Media and Liaison Officer
Cell: 082 463 6806
FEDUSA Media and Research Officer
Cell: 060 676 9145