Man survives being attacked, thrown out of moving train

Jerome Johannes, who was thrown from a moving train, with his wife, Sarah, and Priscilla Maart, a family friend at the hospital.

A Tafelsig man is in Groote Schuur Hospital with a serious spinal injury after three men threw him from a moving train on his way to work, between Lentegeur and Philippi stations, on Tuesday evening July 19.

Lying in a straight position, unable to lift his head, Jerome Johannes is grateful to be alive despite his serious injury.

“It was a horrible experience, but I am happy I am alive, I can only thank God,” he said.

He boarded the train at Kapteinsklip station to travel to Town Centre station, but a few minutes into the trip, three men approached him and demanded his phone.

They stopped him from getting off at Town Centre and Phillippi and assaulted him.

“I was in the last carriage. There were no commuters, and it was in a terrible state with no windows. They were rude, wild and demanded my personal items. I then took my phone and threw it out the window.

“They were angry, attacked me and threw me out of the moving train,” he said.

He remembers landing hard on the ground.

“I went blank for a few seconds.

“When I woke up, I was between two railway tracks and heard a train. I was scared and in pain. I wanted to move, but I could not. After a few minutes, I saw the railway security. I don’t know where they came from because the platform was quite a distance from where I was lying.”

His wife, Sarah, said it made her sad seeing her husband in such pain.

“When I first heard about the incident I was shocked and angry. I cannot believe how cruel people can be. Jerome works hard for the family, and he is the main breadwinner of the family.

“My son, who is still at school, was worried about his father because his father could have lost his life. He is due for a big operation next week, which will be expensive.

“But we are happy that he is still with us and can only hope for the best,” she said.

Alaric Jacobs, provincial Health Department spokesman, said Johan-nes is in a stable condition in Groote Schuur’s ICU.

Metrorail spokeswoman Daphne Kayster said the incident took place at 5.58pm on train number 9560.

She said security cannot be everywhere at once. Instead, they are posted according to priority areas.

“Security resources are deployed in line with policing principals. Metrorail Protection Service meet weekly with SAPS Rapid Rail Unit to review crime trends based on reported incidents and intelligence gathered, and incidents reported by the public. The more information provided, the better they are able to respond. Prasa will continue to beef up its security operations to ensure everyone’s safety.”