Safety measures to be discussed after hiker stabbings - TMNP

2018-01-14 22:24
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Cape Town - Table  Mountain National Park officials will meet on Monday to discuss further safety measures after nine hikers were stabbed during a brutal robbery this weekend, TMNP spokesperson Merle Collins said on Sunday.

"We are very appalled by the incidents," said Collins.

"Obviously we are working very closely with [the police]."

According to police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, the nine hikers were robbed and stabbed in the St James Peak area, near Kalk Bay, on Saturday by two men who appeared to be hikers.

"All the victims sustained stab wounds and were taken to medical facilities for treatment," she said.

"A case of robbery with a weapon other than a firearm has been opened for investigation."

The alarm was raised at about 9:20 on Saturday when four people called for help after they had been assaulted and stabbed, said Johann Marais, spokesperson for Wilderness Safety and Rescue.

First indications were that there were serious injuries with a medical doctor, who also hiked in the area, assisting.

WSAR said the attackers had initially looked like hikers when the party encountered them.

"They joined the group and having walked with them for about thirty minutes the two males suddenly attacked the original group participants and stabbed or injured at least five persons which the Skymed helicopter hoisted or flew out," he said.

Later reports were received of elderly stabbed victims in the vicinity of the amphitheatre too, indicating that the hikers may have split up as they tried to run for safety.

One woman was taken with a 4X4  to a place where Skymed could lift her out, and in total the chopper medical rescue service lifted five hikers out for emergency medical treatment.

Collins said the meeting on Monday would be to establish exactly what happened, and what else can be done regarding safety there.

Police have warned people not to try and approach the attackers if they are spotted, because they are armed and dangerous.

Instead, call the local police or Crime Stop on 08600 10111, and the information will be treated as strictly confidential.

As early as Friday the TMNP issued a safety warning to hikers, explaining that 75% of the 25 500ha park is open with multiple access points and crime from the City of Cape Town was spilling into "natural and remote areas on the Peninsula".

It said the park has a Visitor Safety Team, a ranger corps and a dog unit with 12 trained dogs.

It is also a member of the Table Mountain Safety forum which includes the SA Police Service, the Department of Community Safety, the Metro Police, Law Enforcement and civil society. 

"Working jointly [with] the above departments we seek to keep crime to a minimum and address safety concerns across the Park."

However, some users of the park gave these assurances short shrift.

The last security warning on the TMNP website was posted on November 2, 2017, for Noordhoek Beach past the Kakapo wreck, the the Peers Cave area, and the Hout Bay and Noordhoek side of Chapman's peak.

The emergency number is: 086 110 6417 or 107/021 480 7700.

The TMNP urges people to report crime to the police and to open a case to get a docket for every incident.



Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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