GEORGE NEWS - Another attack on tourists between Wilderness and Victoria Bay has sparked an outcry on social media and concerned locals are wondering what authorities are doing about the issue.
The attack, on a French man (54) and woman (63) who were hiking between Wilderness and Victoria Bay, happened at approximately 16:45 on Tuesday 19 November.
According to George police communications officer, Capt Nolonwabo Tshengu, the victims were allegedly approached by two men armed with knives.
"Initial information indicates that the couple were assaulted after they refused to give the suspects their belongings. The male victim sustained serious stab wounds. The woman sustained only bruises. Both victims were treated on the scene by ER24 and were taken to Mediclinic George where the man is still in ICU," said Thsengu.
George Tourism responds
In response to an enquiry, George tourism manager Joan Shaw said that they are aware of the incident, the latest of a number of incidents in the same area in the last three weeks.
"We have recently coordinated a successful meeting with various stakeholders, including the Garden Route District Municipality, various departments of George Municipality, provincial authorities, police, SANParks and local ratepayers associations to plan and implement initiatives to enhance tourism safety and security in the area," she said.
"During the meeting key hotspots were identified. The meeting generated fantastic collaboration to address the issue, with a number of guesthouses and businesses in Wilderness looking to install and/or upgrade their surveillance cameras.
Other measures by the various stakeholders are in the planning phase and will be implemented as soon as possible," said Shaw.
No official hiking trail
Shaw says it has to be noted that there is no official hiking trail between Wilderness and Victoria Bay.
"Furthermore, it is important to note that access across the Kaaimans railway bridge is closed off from both sides with clear signage."
She asked that all accommodation establishments in the Wilderness and Victoria Bay areas advise their guests not to attempt walking between the two beaches.
"A safety and security brochure will be issued to all accommodation establishments and tourism activity service providers in the entire region indicating the precautions that need to be taken and which areas to avoid," she said.
n Please note: Police appeal to the public and tourists to take care. According to Tshengu, a crime analysis has been done and police patrols will be increased accordingly. A case of aggravated robbery has been opened but no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant John Beukes on 044 803 4713 OR Crime Stop on 08600 0111.
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