大发最新大发彩神官方下载S. African police criticized for inaction to curb train attacks in Cape Town

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CAPE TOWN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Western Cape provincial government on Monday lambasted the South African Police Service (SAPS) for its inability to curb rampant train attacks in Cape Town.

The recent spate of attacks on trains have been raised with the highest level of SAPS management on a regular basis, but the SAPS has been unable to investigate these incidents of criminality effectively, and to successfully prosecute and convict those responsible and place them behind bars, said Siphesihle Dube, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport and Public Works in Western Cape.

The statement came after commuter trains were targeted by criminals recently in Cape Town.

In the latest attack on Friday night, a group of armed men robbed communters on a train travelling between the Eerste River and Lynedoch stations, killing one and injuring several others.

In the past several months, four trains were apparently hit by arsonists. Most recently, two carriages were set alight at Cape Town station.

In May, a commuter was killed in a fire near Ottery station while another suffered severe burns.

"Crime in the rail network runs rampant and with impunity, largely due to the SAPS' shortcomings," Dube said.

The SAPS should make a commitment to prioritizing rail crime, and report back to the local government soonest on progress made toward apprehending these criminals that threaten the safety of commuters and target this essential service on a daily basis, he said.

"We believe that effective criminal investigations and successful prosecutions, coupled with the necessary and urgent overall improvements by PRASA (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa), will send a strong message to would-be culprits that their acts will not be tolerated and that they will be brought to justice," Dube said.

In a related development, the City of Cape Town has urged Transport Minister Blade Nzimande to declare a state of emergency over the railway attacks.

Urban rail is the backbone of public transport in Cape Town where thousands of commuters rely on the service to get to and from work. The majority of these commuters are from low-income households and cannot afford other modes of transport.

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