If Cyril Ramaphosa was looking for an authentic experience on a Metrorail train, he got more than he bargained for: Much to the delight of his political foes.
Delays, packed cabins and broken windows dominated President Cyril Ramaphosa’s train trip as part of the ANC’s blitz election campaign on Monday.
Ramaphosa got to experience first-hand the daily frustrations of those who use trains to commute to work, as the train he eventually got on board of was more than an hour late.
Squashed in a cabin with commuters, Ramaphosa said the delay was “unacceptable” after a 50km trip took four hours. So delayed was the attempt to canvas votes, that the president was late for a scheduled Top-6 ANC meeting.
Not only did the president of South Africa wait for at least two hours for the train from Mabopane to Pretoria, but he was on the train for almost two hours after it stopped.
The Twitter user Ricardo Mackenzie wanted to know where dr. Transport Minister Blade Nzimande finds himself, while Ramaphosa stuck on a train.
Lahain Louw says he is glad it happened with Ramaphosa because his wife is also late for work every day.
The train finally arrived at 10:40 at the Pretoria station, after Ramaphosa had already been on the train at Mabopane on 06:30. So the whole ride lasted just over four hours.
The president did hit back once he had disembarked the train, saying that “heads must roll” over the service he experienced on Monday – and what many poorer citizens face every day of their working lives. “Dysfunctional”, “unacceptable” and “really bad” were just some of the terms Ramaphosa used to describe the ride.
Sympathy was in short supply from the opposition, however. DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen took particular offence to claims that the DA-run metro of Tshwane was to blame for this “rail fail”. He denied the city had any control over the running of trains, and scoffed at suggestions load shedding was to blame.
“It’s desperate when a president tries to blame load shedding and disastrous train failures on the DA-run city when both know full well the issues are with [the ANC’s] policy failures and corruption at a national level. Cities don’t run trains or manage the national grid.”
Sources: Netwerk 24, Times Live, The South-African
SA –news team