Armed extortionists force closure of problematic central railway line


On Monday, gangsters forcibly prevented Cape Town’s Central Railway Line workers from doing their jobs and chased them off the site.

John Maytham interviews Angus McKenzie from Cape Town.

Gangsters armed with guns assaulted some of the workers, McKenzie said.

The workers are all locally employed…this group of extortionist gangsters…came to the site and started threatening and insisting that the workers stop working and leave the site…

Angus McKenzie, Cape Town

A Metrorail train arrives at Langa station. Photo: @PRASA_Group/Twitter

Authorities halted operations to ensure the safety of staff and surrounding communities and asked them not to give in to extortion.

I will not allow extortionists. I’m not going to let… gangsters stop the redevelopment of this line… I’m going to fight them head-on…

Angus McKenzie, Cape Town

When the Central Line is operating as it should, it competes with the taxis and buses that transport workers from some of the poorer areas of Cape Town.

Currently the CBD train from Cape Town to Langa is operating as normal but there is no service from there.

I want people to have the option of using the train, which is considerably cheaper…

Angus McKenzie, Cape Town

Mckenzie met with representatives of South Africa’s Passenger Rail Agency and the South African Police Service on Tuesday to discuss the incident.

They aim to put in place a detailed and updated safety plan, with the hope of restarting the central line later in the week.

The trains will roll… and the line workers will earn a salary.

Angus McKenzie, Cape Town

John Maytham interviewed McKenzie – scroll up to listen.

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