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South Africa

Cape tourist steals from fellow tourist

Jul 06, 2008

Two knife-wielding muggers shoved a hiker down a rocky incline, demanded "gold" from her four companions, threatened to throw rocks at them and tried to stab their three dogs.

Wednesday's incident, which even Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) is in "a state of shock about", happened at Blackhill on the boundary of the Solole Private Game Reserve near Masiphumelele where the hikers say they "always felt so safe".

The muggers stole a gold chain, rucksacks and three cellphones.

And in another incident on the same day, a British tourist was taking pictures at Cape Point when a Spanish tourist was seen taking his camera equipment and driving away with it.

Police and mountain rangers formed a road block and caught the tourist along Plateau Road after the British tourist's daughter alerted the Buffelsfontein Visitors Centre.

No official complaint was lodged.

Meanwhile, the Simon's Town hiker who did not want her name published, said on Thursday she was still recovering in bed with an injured ankle and wounds to her head.

She said her 12-year-old grandson, who had been hiking with her, three dogs and four friends, all between 60 and 70 years, was so traumatised by Wednesday's attack he vowed he would never visit the mountain again.

"We were just stopping for tea on a peak on Rooikrans between 10.30 and 11am when two men appeared.

"At first I thought they were from (SA National Parks) but then the taller one pulled out a long blade he'd been hiding in his pants."

She said the shorter man had a knife which he flicked open and he kept swearing at them and demanding "gold".

Both men were wearing dark, "smart" clothing.

"They picked up rocks and threatened to throw them. They also started stabbing at my friend's dogs and she tried spraying pepper spray at the men before they ran off.

The hiker said once the men got the chain, rucksacks and three cellphones, they ran away.

She reported the incident at the Ocean View police station.

TMNP spokesperson Phumeza Mgxashe said the attack happened in an "open access" area, meaning the muggers probably did not have to pay to get there.

"We're in a state of shock. In recent years no incidents have been reported in that area," she said.

Mgxashe said vehicle and foot patrols would be increased.

The mugging came a week after a hiker was stabbed and his wheelchair-bound brother and two tour guide friends mugged at the Silvermine Dam.

There have been no arrests in either of the incidents.

Cape tourist steals from fellow tourist

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