GEORGE NEWS - A female Canadian tourist (50) was allegedly assaulted with a knife and robbed by two men at the Dolphin's Point lookout point on Sunday 3 November.
The incident happened at about 16:45. According to George police spokesperson, Capt Nolonwabo Tshengu, the victim was with her 52-year-old male friend when the two men allegedly demanded the woman's bag.
"They kept pushing her down [to the ground] and assaulted her with a knife. She sustained multiple injuries to her head, arms and body and was taken to hospital for medical observation," said Tshengu.
Both tourists were robbed of their travelling documents and a camera.
A case of robbery with a weapon was opened. Tshengu said no one has been arrested, but the investigation continues.
Mediclinic George confirmed that the victim had received treatment before being discharged on Tuesday when the tour group she was with, left the area.
Effort to devise action plan
Joan Shaw, George tourism manager, confirmed that the municipality is aware of the incident.
"We are in the process of coordinating a meeting with various stakeholders to plan and implement a tourism safety and security plan for the entire region."
She said various stakeholders have been invited, including the Garden Route District Municipality, various coordinated departments of George Municipality, provincial authorities, the police, SANParks, local ratepayers associations and more.
"The safety and security of tourists are paramount. It will take a concerted effort from all role players, not only to make locals and visitors aware of possible pitfalls, but to inform prospective tourists that we care about their safety. We are meeting to devise an action and communication plan, and will be relying on the tourism industry, the media and all spheres of government to help us get an emphatic message out, and then make our actions speak louder than words."
According to an upset Wilderness resident who wished to remain anonymous, several similar incidents have recently occurred in Wilderness. The walkway beneath the lookout point is especially high-risk. There have been a number of incidents along the railway track between Dolphin's Point and Wilderness as well as near the Caltex filling station, and in the main street of the village where people have been robbed of their cellphones.
"The situation is slipping. We need more police presence. Something has to be done. It is bad for tourism and this area's economy is heavily dependent on visitors' spend," he said.
In 2017, a German tourist was stabbed with a broken bottleneck and he and his wife were robbed of their belongings along the Dolphin's Point walkway.
The George Municipality has put up signs at the lookout point warning visitors that it is an unsafe area.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Sergeant LD Ndwenkunku on 044 803 4713 or Crime Stop on 086 000 111.
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