Building a safety risk

Cape Town - 181009 - Mere hours after the Portfolio Committee on Transport received a briefing from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) on the burning of trains, another train was set alight in Cape Town Station. Two trains with three carriages each on platform 17 & 18 were alight. There has been reports that the offices above the station deck are also affected, but fire fighters on the scene will investigating. Photographer: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

Security authorities are hoping that a fire and the discovery of a woman’s body last Tuesday at the derelict building at the Cape Town station deck would spur the property owners into action to deal with the site.

The building, which has been described by police as a “toilet dumped in the middle of the CBD”, is owned by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), and has been empty for over 10 years.

According to police, the fire and rescue services were called out on Tuesday June 18, at about 4pm, to extinguish a fire.

A woman’s naked body was found in a small unused room inside the building.

The police officer who opened the inquest, who did not want to be named, said it was worrying that the woman was found in a room where no one was living, as there was no evidence suggesting that she was staying there.

The woman was also unknown to all of the occupants in the building, which suggests that she wasn’t a homeless person, said the officer.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and the woman has still not been identified as her body was badly burnt and her fingerprints could not be taken.

The main priority for police is to identify the woman and inform her next of kin.