Metrorail has appealed to the public to refrain from damaging its infrastructure, following the fatal electrocution of a cable thief earlier this week. Picture: Supplied
Metrorail has appealed to the public to refrain from damaging its infrastructure, following the fatal electrocution of a cable thief earlier this week. Picture: Supplied

Metrorail calls on public to refrain from damaging infrastructure after man 'fatally electrocuted'

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Dec 2, 2021

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Cape Town - Metrorail has appealed to the public to refrain from damaging its infrastructure, following the fatal electrocution of a cable thief earlier this week.

Metrorail confirmed that an unidentified body of a man was found between Athlone and Crawford. He was electrocuted while allegedly attempting to steal live 11kv cables.

Metrorail Western Cape acting spokesperson Nana Zenani said: “It takes 80 miliamps to stop a human heart. In this case, the deceased was hit with 1 500 milliamps.”

Metrorail cancelled its services on Monday due to cable theft in the same area, she said.

“The cables had been fixed and switched on in anticipation of services. Metrorail is urging the public to stay away from its lines and its infrastructure due to the mortal danger they present.”

“Services on the Cape Flats and Southern Lines saw the introduction of new trains and a concerted effort to run an efficient service by Metrorail staff.

“All that has ground to a halt as vandalism robs the people of the West Cape of services. Our technicians are working tirelessly to fix the lines,” Zenani said.

Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said police had registered an inquest docket. He said the man believed to be in his late twenties was found near the Athlone railway station on Tuesday morning.

“The victim was declared deceased on the scene by the medical personnel,” Swartbooi said.

Zenani added that while Metrorail Western Cape has experienced a spate of operational challenges as a result of the vandalism, security teams are making arrests almost on a daily basis.

“The vandalism seems deliberate and aimed disrupting the already limited train services. The vandalism smacks of economic sabotage on the very lines where Metrorail had gained traction in introducing new trains,” Zenani said.

Metrorail has recently started introducing new trains on the Cape Flats Line and on the Southern Line up to Retreat Station (Prasa rolls out new 'People’s Train' while central line is still inoperable).

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Cape Argus

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