Warning: Violence in South Africa
by Hilton Purvis
Hilton Purvis and Loretta Jakubiec are residents of South Africa, who have frequently shared their travels with Global Access News. Recently, they submitted the following warning about safety in that nation. They believe that it is becoming negligent to encourage foreign visitors to tour parts of their country because violent crime is spreading rapidly, even into the national parks, and this latest incident shows that disabled people are vulnerable. Global Access News urges all readers to proceed cautiously if they are considering a visit there.
Attack on disabled visitor to Silvermine Nature Reserve (Cape, South Africa)
In June, three visitors to the Silvermine Nature Reserve in the Table Mountain National Park of South Africa were attacked by two men, armed with knives, which resulted in one visitor being stabbed. The attack took place during daylight hours on the accessible boardwalk trail circumnavigating the Silvermine Dam. One of the group of visitors was confined to a wheelchair.
The police were called, and arrests made, but it is disturbing to note that the security guard posted at the dam fled the scene, and was also subsequently arrested and questioned in connection with the attack. That this security guard might well have watched this group exit their vehicle, and load the wheelchair, knowing they faced attack is frightening. It has subsequently come to light that there have been numerous attacks, and narrow escapes, on visitors to Silvermine.
That the criminal element now sees fit to attack disabled people is a sign we, as a nation, have truly hit rock bottom. A browse through the South African National Parks website Discussion Forums reveals that other reserves are experiencing increased crime levels as well. I visit the Silvermine Nature Reserve regularly with my wife, it is one of the few nature areas in the Cape Peninsula, which is wheelchair accessible. Clearly no longer.
South African lovers of nature and the outdoors are seeing their parks becoming increasingly dangerous, with little being done to stop it. A “walk” on the mountain is now less about relaxation and fresh air, and more about caution and alertness. Sad times indeed.
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