Hike in groups for safety

2019-03-05 06:00
Take Back the Mountain group posing for a picture on one of their hikes.

Take Back the Mountain group posing for a picture on one of their hikes.

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Take Back the Mountain, a safety movement group promoting safety in the mountains for hikers, is urging hikers to hike in groups. The warning comes in the wake of an attack at Kleinplaas Dam in Red Hill on Monday 18 February.

The movement started last year after a series of muggings in the mountains.

Taahir Osman, founder of the movement, says he believes that the two hikers went to the dam for a ritual ceremony.

He says it was only the two of them and “a group of guys” approached them. It is alleged that they robbed the pair of everything before fleeing the scene. It is alleged that one of the robbers called on his accomplice to ‘shoot them’.

“They then turned around and shot one guy in the leg,” said Osman. He labelled the attack as “sad” and appealed to hikers “not to hike alone”.

“We want people to form groups,” he said.

Osman added that Kleinplaas Dam is one of the most dangerous places for hikers, especially when they do so as individuals.

“Don’t go there alone, be part of a group. When the robbers see a group they know it is more difficult to attack,” he said.

Osman said robbers are always on the look out and they take chances when they see that it’s not a lot of people.

“There are also dangerous areas in Hout Bay but that has got better because people are embracing hiking in groups,” he said.

Osman added that since hikers began hiking in groups, especially in Kalk Bay, crime had decreased.

“Where we hike, there has been a change but they move to other areas,” says Osman.

He says they are looking at forming hiking clubs, and with that there will be a group of people hiking. He says they also have a WhatsApp group for people to use, especially those that hike during the week when there are few hikers.

“Join other hikers – at least by doing so you will feel safe and you will enjoy the mountain,” he said.

In a statement posted on Facebook SANParks acknowledged the incident. “A visitor was shot in the leg and robbed of his belongings.The matter was reported to the police. SANParks regrets what has happened and wishes the victim a speedy recovery,” read the post.

V Call Take back the Mountain on 073 624 4287


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