For the record

Leslie van Minnen, Chairman Rail Commuters Action Group, Fish Hoek

The article “City propose to take over railways” (Echo, October 19) refers.

Let me firstly state that I have taken some time to respond to the article as I wished to confirm certain information prior to addressing the matter.

In the said article mention is made of a statement supposedly made by the spokesperson of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), Zino Mihi, in which she is quoted as stating that neither Prasa nor Metrorail is responsible for safety of passengers utilising the commuter network.

After spending the better part of 17 years fighting for safer trains and having won a number of precedent setting judgements, including from the Constitutional Court, that made it very clear that Prasa/Metrorail are most definitely responsible for both safety and security of passengers, I challenged the CEO of Prasa/Metrorail on this matter.

The quote as published by your reporter has been repudiated in its entirety. Publishing incorrect information of this nature has a huge influence on the general public and more especially the users of Prasa/Metrorail during this time of concern for one’s personal safety during the current phase of our history.

I am no friend of nor supporter of the manner in which Prasa/Metrorail operate their commuter system which is most often to the detriment of commuters. However any information published in newspapers or used in litigation needs to be based on fact. I thus request that your reporter either confirms or denies the published statement regarding the matter under discussion. The response to the repudiation by the CEO of Prasa of the facts as presented by your reporter is awaited and will be passed on to the CEO of Prasa.

* The quote by Metrorail spokeswoman, Zino Mihi, indicating that security on the trains was not a Prasa or Metrorail issue (‘City proposes to take over railways”, False Bay Echo, October 19) was incorrect. Ms Mihi, in fact, indicated that external socio-economic issues such as vagrancy and drug abuse impacted on the train service, but could not be policed by Metrolrail of Prasa. The Echo apologises for any inconvenience caused.