“We witness all kinds of stuff on that line but this was beyond,” said Elton Cloete of Riebeek West.
The beating took place across the railway tracks, Mr Cloete said, and prevented the trains on that line from moving.
According to Mr Cloete, the Worcester train pulled into the station at about 6pm and as people were disembarking, he heard shouting and “commotion”.
“There’s normally a commotion because a lot of people are getting out,” Mr Cloete said, explaining that he didn’t pay much attention at first but then he heard screaming.
“I looked out of the window and saw three guys beating another guy,” Mr Cloete said, adding that he was still traumatised by the incident.
The man on the tracks was an alleged thief, Mr Cloete said he had heard later, and the men beating him became increasingly brutal, hitting him with a hammer and throwing large rocks at his head.
“Whatever he did, he didn’t deserve to get that kind of treatment,” Mr Cloete said.
He continued to watch in horror and when the man was out cold, Mr Cloete said, his attackers stopped beating him but started undressing him. Mr Cloete said he looked away after one of the men took out a scissors and started to cut on the alleged thief’s private parts.
“People were screaming and taking photos and videos,” Mr Cloete said.
“The guy was completely out of it.”
Shortly after that, the Worcester train pulled away and Mr Cloete saw no more.
“Where were the security guards?” he asked. “We couldn’t do anything but the guards were nowhere to be seen.”
According to Metrorail’s Riana Scott, security guards did intervene.
“An alleged thief jumped from a train after snatching items from a commuter. He jumped out and ran across to another platform at Kraaifontein station where commuters caught him. Our security intervened and summoned Kraaifontein SAPS,” Ms Scott said.
But police said the assault was not reported to them.
Provincial police spokesperson Sinathi Joni said: “This office does not have any record of the incident.”