Paramedics attend to the victims. Metrorail should follow India's example in beefing up security, says the writer. Picture: Renier van der Westhuizen
COPE expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were attacked on a Metrorail train near Stellenbosch and to the bereaved family on the death of one of their own. Something cruel and evil is manifesting itself.

Metrorail has been a shambles for a long time. It continues, therefore, to suffer the consequences of its own horrible failures, maladministration and incompetence. Ordinary people, as passengers, therefore suffer attacks, injuries and death.

Enough is enough!

On a visit to India, my family and I went through metal detectors each time we boarded a train. Soldiers stood just inside the station with rifles in hand. Why can’t Metrorail step up security in a similar way? Why does Metrorail not use cameras at every station to scan every passenger? Why are passengers not frisked before boarding a train?

The situation has become extremely dangerous for passengers and needs to be met with strong and effective countermeasures.

Metrorail should be jointly run with the City. Its failure to run an effective train service affects people severely and puts passengers, who have to use alternative measures, under increasing financial pressure.

As the situation with Metrorail worsens and as saboteurs continue to burn trains or terrorise passengers in order to literally and metaphorically derail the rail service, the National Intelligence Agency should step in and decisively unravel who is behind the attacks and for what reason.

Every injury and every death of a passenger is a severe indictment on the government at every level. When are heads going to roll?

Voters should take note of their perilous situation that stems from the multiplying failures of the government to place the interests of people, poor people particularly, right at the top.

They have a chance next year to use their votes to render a judgment on the serial neglect they have been experiencing.

* Farouk Cassim, COPE

* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus