Condolences and shock after Stellenbosch train attack

Prasa has expressed 'extreme shock' at a violent attack on a number passengers of a Metrorail train in the Stellenbosch area in the Western Cape, leaving one of them dead.

"This callous act by fellow citizens on defenseless and innocent passengers, who in the main are the poorest of the poor, is indicative of a wounded nation," said Prasa board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama in a statement.

She said the passenger railway agency was still trying to understand the attack and vandalism of infrastructure in the Western Cape.

"This sudden shift to attacking innocent citizens, who are soft targets, is unbearable and is condemned with the strongest terms".

On Friday night, a gang of five men robbed commuters travelling on a train between Lynedoch and Eerste River and then threw them off the train.

A 32-year-old man was killed during the robbery and eight other men were injured, including a man who had a knife blade stuck in his skull.

The injured men and dead man were apparently all colleagues.

The board said the attack was not simply that of "mere robbers" but instead "this attack on passengers was premeditated by a gang of people who deliberately wanted to inflict so much pain not only to the victims and their families but are hell bent on ensuring that this public transport system grounds to a halt."

Condolences were extended by Metrorail Regional Manager Richard Walker.

He described the incident as "unfortunate and distressing".

He assured that Metrorail and the police would work together to get to the bottom of the spate of crime on board public transport in the province.

Meanwhile, the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Heron also expressed condolences to the family and loved ones affected of the man killed in the attack.

He also wished the injured a speedy recovery.

The criminal investigation should be treated as a matter of urgency, urged Heron.

"I am shocked beyond words by the horrific details of this latest attack," he said.