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Abstracts from some research conducted at HURISA (ISPV).

Securing the Trains? An analysis of train violence and the Goldstone Commission reports (1994) by Mark Shaw and Jamie Miller, Institute for the Study of Public Violence, (1994)


Violence on trains in the PWV region of South Africa has claimed over 515 lives in the past two years. Very little, however, has been specifically written about violence on the trains. The two Goldstone Commission reports on the subject are a noticeable exception to this. Further, since the Commission has the investigative power and ability to suggest recommendations to end violence, the recommendations of the Commission’s train reports need to be examined in some detail.

The first interim report was released by the Commission in July 1992 and the final report in May 1993. Thus, to date, there has been a considerable period of time in which the recommendations could be implemented. But, have the recommendations made by the Commission in regard to train violence been seen as appropriate by those directly engaged in ending the violence? Alternatively, have the parties concerned had access to the recommendations? And importantly, to what degree have the recommendations been implemented at all?

The aim of this report then is largely three fold: to provide a brief outline and explanation of the violence on the trains in the PWV since 1990; to offer a detailed examination of the extent to which the recommendations of the Goldstone Commission in relation to train violence have been followed up; and more generally, since much of what the report covers is ongoing, its contents should not be seen as a definitive outline of the subject, but rather a contribution to the ongoing debate.