‘Said He Would Chop My Finger Off’: Hiking Guide Reveals Unsettling Reality of Disturbing Criminal Trends on Table Mountain

Published 12/09/2023, 4:58 AM EST

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The South African natural wonder, Table Mountains has always allured hikers for its majestic beauty. However, a chilling series of criminal acts has shrouded the hiking spot in a disconcerting shadow. As per the latest reports, a mountain guide accompanied by her tourist friend from North Carolina in the US had been robbed at knifepoint. 

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The frequent attacks by the assailants marked a disturbing trend that has been threatening the very essence of the mountain spot. Besides the guide, there exist other audacious tales of attacks that had shaken both the visitors and the authorities. 

Spate of attacks on hikers in Table Mountain

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The most recent attack took place on Brinny Ridgway, a hiking guide and her American friend who were robbed by knife-wielding assailants on the Kasteelspoort hiking trail. Armed with a large knife, the assailant confronted the victims demanding their valuables and thereby resorted to violence.

In an interview with Daily Maverick, the hiking guide provided a glimpse of her ordeal, “He ordered us to sit down, which we did. And then he took my wedding ring, and said he would chop my finger off as I was having difficulty taking it off. He took my friend’s phone and asked me if I had any cash, and I said yes. I gave him all my cash, including my cellphone.”

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Following this, the assailant demanded bank account details from the hikers and handed him cash heightening the audacity of the criminals. In another incident, a group of mountain bikers were also subjected to similar attacks raising questions about safety.   

Call for action for the criminal acts

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Based on the reports of News24, in the month of August, there were 10 criminal reports that transpired at the hiking site and in October the number shot upto 13. The frequency of the criminal attacks has propelled the authorities to take swift action and the Table Mountain National Park Safety Forum played a crucial role in disseminating information about the assailants. 

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The founder of the organization, Take Back Our Mountains (TBOM) that arranges secure hikes, Taahir Osman shared his view about the unfortunate incident, “The criminals are well aware that once they try anything in town they’ll get caught, so they go to Table Mountain because there is no beefed-up security. SANParks isn’t putting much effort in intensifying its efforts to curb these ongoing spate of attacks on mountain users. The national park is currently a weak point.” As the culprits involved in the attack launched on the bikers had been identified and apprehended, the hikers have a glimmer of hope for justice. 

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The once-cherished haven for hikers has left the visitors grappling with trauma. The fear and sense of violation have prompted the urgent intervention to enhance the safety of the park and introduce small security units to boost safety making the Table Mountains at par with the safety provided within the city.  

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Written by:

Soheli Tarafdar

670Articles

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Hey there! I am on a wild ride as a Viral Sports Writer here at EssentiallySports! With a shiny masters in English under my belt, my academic journey has been a cornerstone for my evolution as a wordsmith. My heart always had a soft spot for creative writing, and my fascination with American sports just seemed like a perfect match. But one sport that makes my heart race like no other is Ice Hockey.
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Edited by:

Arnima Shukla

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