Attackers stole my love of the mountain - cyclist

2015-11-02 21:14
Goolam Hassan (Facebook)

Goolam Hassan (Facebook)

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Cape Town - A bruised Cape Town cyclist who was beaten and threatened with a knife and gun on Table Mountain, said his assailants have taken away his love of cycling on the landmark.

Goolam Hassan, 41, said the attack has left him shaken and apprehensive of returning to the popular trails of the national park.

And there appeared to be little honour among thieves too - while the one attacker cycled away on the stolen bicycle, his partner in crime had to make his way down on foot.

Hassan had cycled from his Lansdowne home to Table Mountain National Park at about 07:00 on Sunday morning. "I have been cycling here for years," he told News24 on Monday.

"I started up the mountain and in the vicinity of Plum Pudding Hill, I saw two men standing on either side of the trail. One had a branch in his hand and when I passed him, he whacked me off my bike," he recalled.

When Hassan hit the ground, one of his assailants grabbed him around the neck in a choke hold.

"He held a knife under my eye and demanded my phone. He also warned me not to resist because his buddy had a gun."

Hassan complied.

"After I handed it over, the guy started to beat, kick and assault me," he said.


As he lay on the ground, the gunman cycled off with Hassan’s R40 000 bicycle, while his accomplice ran behind him.

He said it took him a few minutes to realise what had happened.

"Eventually I got up and started walking back. I came across two cyclists who came to my assistance and gave me a phone to call a family member," Hassan said.

The cyclist, who had been training for a race which takes place later this month, said he lost more than just his phone and bicycle in the attack.

"These people took away my love for the mountain," he said.

Hassan was also upset has he had seen no security or rangers throughout his entire ordeal.


"We pay a good couple of hundred for activity permits. What is our money being used for if not for our safety?" he asked.

Table Mountain National Parks spokesperson Merle Collins said Plum Pudding Hill is not a high priority area as the incident is the first recorded in this vicinity.

"We cover 25 000 ha – we simply don’t have the capacity to be at every access route," she said.

Cyclists were also advised to not hit the trails before 08:00 as the routes are very quiet that early in the morning, Collins advised.

"If you do, ensure you are a group of at least four," she added.

But Hassan now fears for his safety.

"I doubt I will be back any time soon," he said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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