Cape Town - Six people appeared in the Grabouw Magistrate's Court near Cape Town on Friday in connection with the theft of railway tracks and sleepers, Western Cape police said.
Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) attached to Grabouw SAPS arrested six suspects - five men and one women - between the ages of 27 and 42 after they were allegedly found in possession of railway tracks, sleepers, and screws worth R93,000 near the Steenbras Dam, Grabouw, east of Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon, Captain FC van Wyk said.
''Compliance patrols were done by members of Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, Grabouw when they spotted two LDV’s (one Isuzu and one Mitsubishi) near the railway tracks. They immediately informed Grabouw SAPS members who arrested the suspects and confiscated the vehicles.''
The suspects appeared in the Grabouw Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of possession of presumed stolen property.
''The members and Nature Reserve personnel were applauded for a job well done because a train was scheduled to use the tracks, but was cancelled to avoid a disaster.''
Damaging essential Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) infrastructure crippled the railway transport system, causing hundreds of thousands of rand in damages and loss of revenue of millions of rand.
Commuters were also left stranded and vulnerable to crimes such as robbery and theft, and most times a loss of income for the community. ''This is another success in stopping perpetrators and showing them that crime does not pay,'' Van Wyk said.
African News Agency (ANA)