FILE PHOTO: Metrorail trains and stations are a hotspot for crime. PHOTO: Bheki Radebe/ANA
Cape Town - Western Cape police were investigating 32 cases of murder either on Metrorail trains or railway stations in the past two financial years, a written reply to a question in the provincial legislature revealed on Tuesday.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato, on information received from the SA Police Service, said 14 murders were committed in trains or at stations in the 2015/16 financial year and another 18 in the 2016/17 financial year.

According to the reply 66 cases of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm were reported in the 2015/16 financial year and 48 in the 2016/17 financial year.

Over the two years, only 12 arrests have been made for the murder cases. Of these there's been one guilty finding, four are still pending in court, and three of the cases have been provisionally withdrawn against suspects "pending further investigation". Three cases were provisionally withdrawn pending further investigation.

Chairperson of the Western Cape legislature's standing commitee on transport and public works, Nceba Hinana, 

Hinana called on national Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to improve safety on trains.

"Every day, approximately 700 000 commuters make use of the Metrorail service without guarantee that they will reach their destination on time, if at all, or that they will be able to travel in safety," said Hinana.

"This year, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), promised to stabilise and restore the Metrorail service, yet it has deteriorated to a state of disrepair, where unreliability has become the norm."

African News Agency