Fists fly in Kruger Park fracas
Buks Viljoen, Beeld
Mbombela - Two visitors who were embroiled in a fist fight in the Kruger National Park shortly after Christmas can expect to receive fines in their mail.
The two motorists, one from Durban and the other from Malelane, attacked each other on December 27 on the H4-2 main road between Lower Sabie and Crocodile Bridge.
Their fisticuffs played out in front of Alwyn Myburgh, a professional photographer from Gauteng. He filmed the entire incident and posted the incident on SANParks' web-based forum, which has since been buzzing.
Myburgh said they were watching rhinos when a vehicle stopped nearby. A young man (from Malelane) climbed out of the car and walked into the bush to urinate.
Moments later, a second vehicle from Durban stopped next to the Malelane car.
“An exchange of words started, seemingly because one of the young men had earlier thrown a beer bottle at the Durban car,” said Myburgh.
”The two young men then got out of their vehicles and started hitting each other, in full view of several cars that had stopped.
"Both groups were later confronted about the incident by a game ranger at the Crocodile Bridge camp.
"They were referred to the Komatipoort police station and advised to lay criminal charges if they wanted to take the case further," Myburgh added.
The police in Komatipoort on Wednesday confirmed that the man from Durban was at the station, but said he did not lay a charge.
Reynold Thakhuli, spokesperson for SANParks, confirmed on Wednesday that the incident was being investigated. He said regardless of what led to the fight, both men transgressed the park’s regulations by getting out of their cars.
“As soon as we have studied the photographic evidence, we will most likely issue fines on both transgressors.”
Thakhuli said SANParks condemned the incident - which he had earlier described in a statement as racist - in the strongest terms.
“We will also investigate a complaint that our staff allegedly handled the incident without sensitivity,” he said.