January 31, 2016

#ATTACK: UPDATE: Somerset West couple attacked by blacks armed with machetes

Couple beat off panga attack!
Carla Germishuys and Alistair Hill, of Somerset West, were attacked by two men, one with a panga, while hiking on a popular trail in Wilderness nearly two weeks ago. Police have since warned hikers to be vigilant when using the trail. 
Cape Town - A Somerset West couple were threatened with a panga and attacked along one of the most popular hiking trails in the Wilderness, latest in a string of crimes targeting hikers on the route.
But during the incident the tables were turned on the attackers.
Alistair Hill, 41, is trained in martial arts and how to handle weapons. He managed to wrestle the panga from one of the attackers and used it to fend them off.
Police have since warned hikers to be extremely vigilant on the trail and to walk in groups of three or more.
The Wilderness attack, which happened on January 20, was the second involving a panga that week – two days later in a separate incident 19-year-old Zander Vermeulen’s left hand was hacked off and his head split by a panga-wielding assailant as he walked home from a club in Claremont.
Vermeulen’s hand was reattached and he was said to be in a stable condition in hospital.
In the Southern Cape attack Hill and Carla Germishuys, 26, who were on holiday, were ambushed while walking along the old railway tracks between Wilderness and Victoria Bay.
As they were returning from the bay two men approached them.
“They had a panga concealed under a jacket,” Hill said.
The man with the panga moved towards him and the other towards Germishuys who had a camera hanging around her neck.
A scuffle ensued.
“He tried to throw me off a cliff at one stage… The other guy was throwing rocks at us. (Germishuys) grabbed him and kicked him between the legs. He didn’t go down.”
Hill said the attacker with the panga had swung it at him at least three times.
“Luckily I’ve got training in knives, pangas and firearms. I disarmed the guy with the panga. I held the panga.”
The other attacker repeatedly pelted Hill and Germishuys with rocks.
“After I threatened them they moved back, about 8m away. I told Carla to get her cellphone out and call the cops. We backed away and still had about 20 to 30 minutes to hike.”
Hill kept the panga as they rushed to safety.
“I must’ve scared one or two people by carrying a panga and being covered with blood.”
Hill sustained several cuts on his head from rocks that were thrown at him, while Germishuys had black eyes and a swollen nose.
He said they did self-defence training.
A few days before they were attacked, tourists had been mugged along the trail.
On Saturday Southern Cape police spokesman Malcolm Pojie said officers were investigating.
An attempted robbery and assault case was being probed.
Pojie said no arrests had been made in connection with the attack on Hill and Germishuys, but several suspects had been taken into custody over the past two months in connection with other crimes carried out along the hiking trail.
He said it seemed as if criminals were targeting walkers and hikers, especially single women, couples and bigger groups of women, along the route.
“If people do walk on this stretch, they must be vigilant and careful.
“They should walk in groups of three or more.”
Pojie said frequent patrols were being conducted