Third robbery of trail cyclists

2012-06-25 00:00

A WOMAN who was struck by a rock in an attack while mountain biking in a plantation in the Hilton-Cedara area fears she could lose her hearing.

“It’s a week but I still can’t hear,” Liz Brown told The Witness yesterday.

“I am using a hearing aid in the right ear and if I have been permanently affected this will dramatically change my life.”

She’ll also have to miss a biking event this week that she and her husband, André Booysen, had been training for when they were attacked.

Brown, who spent four days in hospital last week, is one of a number of victims of recent attacks since Easter, costing them bikes, cellphones and cycling equipment worth R57 500.

She said she had noticed the group of young men from a distance, but they suspected nothing.

“What make me angry is that we trusted them as they were well dressed as if they were coming from a church service,” said Brown.

“We even greeted them, when passing. One just pushed me off the bike and I fell on the ground.

“While I was in shock about what was happening, he pushed me again, off the road and into the bank.

“I rolled down. I got injured on my left leg”, said Brown.

When she tried to get up, she saw one of them pushing her bike away.

Meanwhile, her husband was also on the ground facing an attack, urging her to go.

“He said — leave, Liz. leave Liz.”

She then planned to use his bike to escape and seek help. “As I was approaching the bike, one of them used both his hands to pick up a rock. He hit me with it on the left side of my head, leaving me bleeding. Thank God I was wearing my helmet” said Brown. Booysen said God intervened for them to be safe.

“I just said to them ‘ungathinti unkosikazi’ (don’t touch my wife) and they just left us, taking the bicycles. I think God intervened.”

Booysen believes the case they reported to police should be one of attempted murder, not robbery, as they used the rock to attack his wife at point blank range.

On the morning of March 21, four men armed with an iron rod and sticks robbed Sebastian Hicks while he was cycling with a friend in the same plantation.

Hicks told The Witness the place was not safe for mountain bikers.

Four days later, Stephen Hacket and his wife were also attacked while riding in the plantation.

Five men confronted them, slapped both of them and made off with bicycles and cycling equipment valued at approximately R14 500.

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan confirmed that police were investigating the three cases.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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