Stab­bing, heist ter­ror for hik­ers

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - LUKE FOLB

PO­LICE have opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter mul­ti­ple mug­gings and stab­bings oc­curred in the moun­tains above Kalk Bay.

Shortly af­ter 9am yes­ter­day, Wilder­ness Search and Res­cue were called to help four hik­ers who were stabbed and robbed of their pos­ses­sions while hik­ing St James Peak.

A fur­ther nine peo­ple were at­tacked be­tween 11am-12pm at the Sil­ver­mine Gate 2.

Po­lice and pri­vate se­cu­rity com­pa­nies then launched a search for the as­sailants in the area.

The vic­tims sus­tained mod­er­ate to se­ri­ous stab wounds. Four hik­ers were treated on site by Wilder­ness Search and Res­cue; five oth­ers – one who was se­ri­ously in­jured – were evac­u­ated in a SkyMed he­li­copter. The hik­ers were taken to the Groote Schuur, False Bay and Vin­cent Pal­lotti hos­pi­tals.

SAPS spokesper­son Noloy­iso Rwex­ana said a case of rob­bery with a weapon had been opened.

“Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion at hand, the vic­tims were ap­proached by two sus­pects, one of whom had a knife in his pos­ses­sion,” she said.

Adding that no one has been ar­rested yet, she urged the pub­lic not to ap­proach the sus­pects as they were armed and danger­ous.

Wilder­ness Search and Res­cue spokesper­son Jo­han Marais said that the as­sailants had mas­quer­aded as hik­ers.

“Two men ap­proached them look­ing like hik­ers and they started to walk with them for about 30 min­utes be­fore they sud­denly turned on them and stabbed some of the peo­ple.

“We found two sep­a­rate groups of hik­ers then and we think that the rea­son they split up was be­cause they tried to de­fend them­selves or it could be two sep­a­rate stab­bings,” said Marais.

He added that all the hik­ers had given good de­scrip­tions of the as­sailants to the po­lice.

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