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Government must ensure Prasa makes citizen’s safety its priority: Expert

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Legal analyst and attorney, Raznae Narayansami, says government needs to ensure that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) makes the safety and welfare of the public its priority in accordance with its constitutional mandate.

The Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of a passenger who was seriously wounded after being attacked while on a Metrorail train.

He was robbed and thrown out of a moving train, through an open door and as a result had his leg amputated.

The victim instituted legal action against Prasa and the court ruled that the agency’s failure to ensure that the train doors were closed and a lack of adequate security on the train constituted negligence and violated the victim’s rights.

Narayansami says this is not the first case in which Prasa has been found to be negligent.

“We’ve been seeing an influx of cases where Prasa is simply not doing what they should be doing. They owe an obligation to their passengers in terms of Section 12 of the Constitution where they owe a duty to their passengers to protect their bodily integrity. Over the years we’ve seen several cases where people have been assaulted on trains, robbed on trains and even murdered, and when these cases are investigated it’s found that there was no security guard on the train, so Prasa needs to take measures to ensure that there are security guards on trains especially in areas where crime is high.”

More security guards

In July, Prasa said it has initiated a recruitment drive to find over 3000 more security guards to help protect rail infrastructure.

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