Angler murdered on beach

2008-07-10 00:00

A top angler was murdered on the beach in Richards Bay when he took on four robbers to allow his wife to escape.

After a bullet penetrated 35-year-old Clive Hunter’s lungs and heart, his attackers fled, taking only his tackle box worth about R60, but leaving his two fishing rods, each worth about R5 000.

Hunter was the vice president of the Zululand Shore Angling Association and a few weeks ago was chosen as the best angler in the district over the past year.

His wife Zelda (34) said the moment Clive saw four young men coming out of the bushes around dusk on Tuesday, he knew there was trouble and told her she should run into the sea if he gave her the signal to do so.

“Run, love, run!” Clive shouted to her shortly after that, when one of the men pulled out a pistol.

While Zelda ran “like never before”, she heard a shot being fired behind her, Clive’s father Errol said yesterday.

The murder occurred at about 6.30 pm on Tuesday on the main beach, Alkantstrand, in Richards Bay.

The couple were part of a group of anglers at Pipeline, which has until now been considered a safe spot.

The robbers, who might also have been responsible for an attack at the beach last weekend, probably watched the anglers from the bushes, Errol said.

Shortly before 6 pm, Clive told Zelda they should pack up, when he saw that the other anglers were putting away their tackle. The other people were all already behind the dunes when they were ready to leave.

It was then that the four men appeared. They approached the couple from two sides and began chatting to them, Errol said.

When the men began talking in Zulu, Zelda could sense her husband becoming tense and moments later he shouted that she should run.

Errol said Zelda ran until the water was knee deep and then ran along the beach to the nearest pier to get help. About 300 metres down the beach she met anglers who went back with her, and they and some other people looked for Clive.

His body was later found on the beach.

The murder has made anglers furious. “Clive’s death is the government’s fault,” Clinton Woodley, president of the Zululand Shore Angling Association said, adding that over the past few years anglers have increasingly become easy prey for criminals.

He blamed it on the ban on driving on the beach instituted in 2002.

“We are increasingly limited to fishing spots that are seemingly safe and then the criminals come and hunt us down there,” Woodley said.

“Angling is a recognised national sport and we are entitled to places where we can practice our sport.”

Woodley added that many people have stopped angling because of crime and that women anglers are terrified.

Police patrols along the beach have been sharpened up after the murder, said police spokeswoman Captain Debbie Ferreira.

A memorial service will be held for Hunter on the Alkantstrand on Sunday at 11.30 am.

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