SOUTH AFRICA: Metrorail yesterday defended the competence of the driver of the train that rammed into the back of another stationary train in Pretoria, saying he was not previously involved in a similar accident.
The company said in a statement the driver in question, Mr Gert Kotze, joined the rail industry in 1977 as a train assistant, and in his entire 36-year commuter train operating career, he has never been involved in a train collision.
Metrorail was responding to a report yesterday that the driver of the train had a 12-month final written warning for violating safety standards, and was removed from driving and reassigned to other duties.
The Citizen reported that the National Transport Movement (NTM), a breakaway union from SA Transport and Allied Workers Union, made the allegation following a statement by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) claiming the union had been linked to the recent torching of trains around the country.
Metrorail said that according to their internal disciplinary records, Kotze only had one offence against him and it was not related to a train collision.