Canadian-SA tourists attacked on Table Mountain

Also: Elderly couple attacked, brutalised in Durban home; 6 people massacred at Shongweni dam, KZN


Canadian-SA tourists attacked by knifemen on Table Mountain Cape Town

Friday, November 5, 2010 Three ex-South Africans and a Canadian were robbed at knifepoint at the top of Table Mountain. The Lewis family, originally of South Africa, moved to Canada in 1998 to avoid becoming victims of crime. However, their fears became a reality when they were attacked on top of the mountain during their brief return to South Africa for a family visit.

Lewis family of Canada mugged knifepoint Table Mountain Nov52010
“I know this could happen to anyone but what gets to me is that it was on a national heritage site, supposed to be one of the safest places in the country. It was brazen and during the day. It was on a walking trail with no warning and no security to prevent something like this. It is very disappointing,” Richard Lewis, the father of the family, told the Cape Argus.
Lewis, his wife, Barbara, son Gareth, 24, daughter Bronwyn, 23, and her Canadian boyfriend, Harrison Boyse, 22, decided to take the cable car up Table Mountain early on Tuesday morning. At about 9am, Barbara decided to rest at a shop on top of the mountain while the rest of the group made their way towards Maclear’s Beacon, where two armed men attacked them.
  • “They both carried switchblade knives which they kept waving around saying: ‘Do you want to die here?’, and ‘Don’t make us stab you’. We decided to just give them what they wanted instead of risking our lives,” Lewis said.
The group handed over their backpacks, wallets, cellphones, watches and camera. Still not satisfied, the robbers searched their pockets and demanded their passports. Boyse said the thieves became agitated but were willing to return passports and a memory card if someone took it from the camera.
  • “They were getting really edgy and as soon as we got the memory card we began running back to the cable car.” When the group looked back, the robbers were moving up the mountain and going through the backpacks. The family managed to alert police, park rangers began to search the area immediately and a helicopter scanned the area, but found no signs of the robbers.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz described the incident as “absolutely absurd”, adding that the option of increasing security should be seriously considered. “We can’t have tourists coming and being mugged at a national heritage site.” Table Mountain National Park spokeswoman Merle Collins said that they were aware of, and disturbed by, the incident.


Elderly couple attacked, brutalised in Durban home

Nov 5 2010 – An unnamed elderly couple were seriously injured while attacked in their sleep at 5am in their Pecy Osborne Road, Durban home when intruders attacked them on Saturday, KwaZulu-Natal paramedics said. The pair sustained severe blunt force trauma injuries and needed advanced life support intervention, ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks said.”They were stabilised on the scene and taken to hospital.”

6 killed in massacre by gangs shooting up two houses at Shongweni Dam KZN

2010-10-26  Durban – At least six people were killed at Shongweni Dam outside Durban, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Tuesday.

Brigadier Phindile Radebe An armed gang attacked two houses at the Shongweni dam in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday-night, Oct 25 2010; raped a teen girl and shot dead six people, including two toddler-boys.The SAPS says there seemed no motive: nothing was robbed said SAPS brig. Phindile Radebe.The girl, in her ‘early teens’ was raped and shot but survived.The gang stormed the two houses and just started shooting, said police. 

  • Murdered farmer Russel Walford, 73, expressed worries about safety on his KZN farm near Shongweni to his sister in the UK…
  • An English-speaking white farmer was also recently murdered near Shongweni dam. On July 4 2010, dairy farmer Russell Walford, 73, was bludgeoned to death in his cattle shed. The prominent craftsman and dairy farmer of Peacevale, KwaZulu-Natal,was murdered on his farm near the dam on Sunday night, July 4 2010. He was also stabbed at his house about three months ago during an armed robbery.

The Highway Mail community paper reported the murder only on July 9 2010 and the SA Police Service never made it known to the national newsmedia at all. Caxton Newspapers which publishes Highway Mail does not have an online-news service.  Highway Mail reported that Mr Russell (73) was bludgeoned to death in his cattle shed and then dragged under a tree. This followed after Russell was also stabbed during a robbery at his house about three months earlier. Russell had expressed his concern about his safety on the farm to his family including his sister. Maxine Binx, who lives in England. When he failed to answer her call on Sunday evening, she started to worry. Knowing that her brother always returned her calls, she alerted Andrew Walford, their brother who lives in  nearbyShongweni. On Sunday morning Andrew made his way to the farm and called a neighbour to help search for his brother. Russell’s body was found under a tree at 9.30am.

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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