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 Post subject: Mugging @ Boven ??
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:38 pm 
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I heard a rumour that a group of climbers camping at Boven a few weeks ago had their tent slashed in the early hours of the morning and were then held at knife point while their belongings taken. A climber was apparently stabbed during the incident. Can anyone verify this info? If its true then we need to be made aware of such incidents so as to be even more alert in future.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:03 pm 
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%$# - I agree we need to know if this is happening / has happened - but dammit the uncertainty is so irritating. I'm never sure if Boven is really safe or not. I want to go to boven next month (wife etc included) but not if I have to worry about them, otherwise its a guys only weekend (which doesnt happen so easily). Before we someone justifies why we should accept that the locals do this - it would be a whole lot nicer if they didnt.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:22 pm 
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Hell this is so disturbing to hear, Gustav can you coment on this please as im also doing a family weekend up there soon.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:05 am 
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any news on this. I so hope it's not true.

W


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:48 am 
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*shrug* I bumped into a guy a couple of weeks ago who said he and his GF had been mugged at knifepoint at Boven. Didn't mention when though, and I didn't think to ask.

--A


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:36 am 
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To confirm the rumor - YES its true. I was with my wife on a company weekend and camping at Tranquilitas. At 2 in the morning I heard what I thought were dogs outside so i go up and opened the tent and \"they\" ran off. I went back to bed. At 2h30 the \"dogs\" were back. This time my wife banged on the tent sides to chase them and suddenly screamed that there were people outise out tent. Two knife weilding chaps then startted slashing thier way through the mosquito gauze of the tent to get in and started making stabbing motions towards me. I had my wife behind me by this time and tried to get them to stay out but against 2 knives it was not possible. I then decided to calm the situation down by telling them to relax and that they could take what they wanted just dont hurt us. This they agreed to and took everything we had from the tent. By this time 2 co-workers from the chalets had heard the comotion and one chap came charging across and tackled the one guy full on and recieved a stab wound to the uper chest/ arm area (6 stiches and a course of ARV's). My other freind tussled with the other guy. The attakers then decided better of it and dropped what they had stollen and ran leaving all our posetions strewn accross the camp site. The next day we however found various other people items had been stolen, so there must have been more than 2 people raiding the campsite - We estimate 4. We tracked around and found they had come in from behind the hall at the top of the campsite. I also discovered a very neat slit in my tent at the back of it that they had initially cut through the tent when we were sleeping, this being the 1st time at 2'oclock when I thought it was the dogs.....All in all Tranquilitas is not safe at the moment to camp. Gustav said he was going to put a guard there. I however will not feel safe camping there, guard or no guard. I would also suggest that when staying in chalets not to leave anything outside or even in your cars. Also lock the steel security gate of the chalet.......It's a DAM SHAME we have to put up with this shit !!!. I have told Gustav I have a R1,000 rand for the persons brining me the identity of the bastards.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:53 am 
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Colincrab, thanks for the info . this is soo damd sad and such a shame as this problem does not seem to be getting better. i have unfortunetly cancelled my family climbing trip up there as im not putting them at risk.

Hope your friend recovers well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:19 pm 
Hi Colin,

wow! what a hectic story. I hope you guys are ok. That's really not cool at all that this happened. I tend to agree with you about a guard being posted.

I think it's important to note that people stopped camping at Elandskrans years ago. I actually had my car broken into in the middle of the night back in 1997! So this is an old problem, and it's because there is a lot of poverty and unemployment in the area.

HOWEVER, this does not mean that people must be scared to go there. There are plenty of guest houses to stay at, chalets, Gustav's climbers' lodge etc etc etc. Boven is a wonderful place to climb, and it's important that as South Africans we don't give up on what is OURS. We're all so used to dealing with crime every day in the cities we live in, and I dont think people would camp in a tent in their own back yards! So, why then should it be different when we go outdoors? We all love the 'berg, but everyone knows you cant tent it out there anymore either.

Snowflake, in my opinion, the only safe place to camp and climb is Harrismith. I have never ever heard of a single incident there. Perhaps this is where you should take the family for a camping trip [or mountain sanctuary]

Lastly, regarding the guy who got stabbed. He got off lightly. This was a very stupid thing to do, and his actions could have got someone hurt. If one of the guys had had a gun, things could have ended in a very ugly way. There really is NO room for heroism when you have a desperate, scared, amped up criminal with a weapon.

Anyway, hope you guys are all ok.

Rob


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:43 pm 
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Trooper , been to the places you have mentioned many times and yes they are safe and awsome.But as you said Boven is a wonderfull place to go climb and realy want to go back soon without to much concern while in the crags or camping.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:16 pm 
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Trooper - I agree with you. I am not going to be detered, just better prepared. I will stay in the chalets where it is safe and have appropriate protection in future. Boven is still tops and I wont be beaten by crime in this country. Snowflake.. If you cut Boven out as a destination it will be a shame as its such an asset to us all. As Trooper says rather stay in chalets...but if you have young kids then I as a father would also tend not to take a chance. My concern is that as these bastards see their sucess rate increase and what an easy target we keep presenting ourselves as, they will up thier game and get braver and more daring in thier exploits. Thie weapons will get more serious and the results will be more disasterous. BTW. I agree with trooper on the \"heroics\" thing. They had huge knives at least as big as a diving knife and one slash to a critical artery and you would bleed to death on the spot. They were both high on Zol as well and quite eratic and on edge and seemed only to happy to \"normalise\" the situation. I was supprised by their direct frontal approach as if I had had a gun they would have both been easy close up targets. This indicates to me that they see US as easy targets who are never armed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:23 pm 
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colincrab...

Is this (Sir) Colin Crabtree, the guy who pointed a grade 32 sportroute just a while ago? (anyone who climbs that hard deserves 'Sir' in my book!)

Anyhoo, :evil: about your ordeal, dude. Glad you and your wive is safe.

Its stories like this and the people ka&ing and littering at our crags that makes me think I might not be able to control myself, and do exactly what the tackling worker did!

I'm going to get a 'thick cheatstick'(maybe a steel rod or something) to go with my rack, and let it 'slip and fall' on someone one of these days...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:43 pm 
Violence only breeds more violence. If you start taking bats and knives to the crags, then they will just get guns. If you take guns, then they'll shoot first, mug later. In the case of 'boven, these guys are not mugging cos they are trying to get rid of pent up anger, they are poor and hapless.

All the ideas that get mentioned have been raised. You can put up a bounty on the criminals, but it wont stop them. You can catch the guys doing it today, but there are more waiting. At one point, there was a rather unsavory chap who was leader of the whole bunch, and he got caught a while back and the crime stopped, but perhaps he's not the only one involved. It's not up to expecting the locals to fish out the crooks. Tell me this, when have the climbers ever done anything for the locals at boven? They have no reason to support our eccentric hobby. We come to town with coolerboxes laden with food, meat and booze, buy up the property cheap, and then just expect that everyone there is going to help.

We as climbers should be setting up community outreach programs, and giving something back to the town. This would make the locals endear our presence. I take my hat off to guys like Glenn and Gustav and Mike who have done so much for the area. Between them, they have set up camps, mountain biking trails with employment opportunities, and vast amounts of commercially viable climbing and adventure operations. If more people joined hands and made an effort, perhaps we could create a vibe of mutual respect in the area.

So, instead of the usual attitude of pulling out your fists and bats, why not look at the problem as one that can only be changed when we realize that it's not all about us. I for one will keep on donating what I can to the cause, I'll keep on riding there, climbing, and with a smile on my face. This is our country and I'm not going to live in fear, but I'm also not going to lower myself to the level of a cheap thug and carry a pole around with me to beat people up.

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Anyhoo, Evil or Very Mad about your ordeal, dude. Glad you and your wive is safe.


Anyhoo? This reminds me of Southpark!!


Last edited by Anonymous on Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:59 pm 
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Rob - have to disagree with the logic. Outreach programmes are great and they must happen, however the relevant society has to accept them as well as not overpopulate themselves and create their own vicious circle of poverty. The problem is it will take a long time to see if that works and we are going to be climbing there in the meantime. If nothing proactive direct and immediate is done every person / tourist becomes an easy target, what is currently an \"attack\" becomes \"shopping\" - poor person pulls a knife, climber politely hands over food, valuable etc (bit of a bitch if they want you / your family or girlfriend as well) and so we carry on? I agree that heroics are not a good idea (And our adrenalin needs to be tamed) but it is for the reasons above that society has policing, to ensure that societies norms and rules are abided by - the area needs to be actively and aggressively policied, it is not as easy as putting a programme together and assuming the destitute will \"buy in\" and our problem disappears.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:09 pm 
Hi Mark, point taken. I agree that outreach programmes take time, but I think it's something to be looked at.
Unfortunately, I don't think that the government could ever justify 'heavy policing' in an area with such a low population demographic.
The sad truth about living here is that we will most likely be looking over our shoulders for the rest of our days.
Anyway, I can only hope that positive thoughts and actions will somehow make a tiny difference.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:58 pm 
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Agree with you guys, I'll keep going to boven. Regarding the outreach programes I think it's a good thing. They might not give a quick result but you can't expect such a thing. It's a hundred times better than doing nothing at all. Those things go slowly. For now we should work on both ends, direct safety and outreach programmes. I would be happy to go with the program suggested previous year at the rock rally. Take a so called local as a \"guard\" with you to the crags etc. Unemployment is one of the biggest problems country wide, there's too much people which have to much time on their hands .........


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:22 pm 
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Take a so called local as a \"guard\" with you to the crags etc.


Agreed! this is a great proactive way to get the ball rolling. I'm sure Gustav can control the operation, and split between a few climbers, a guard would make sense, and not so much for protecting climbers, but certainly a guard would be able to help identify would be attackers.

Just don't make the mistake I made once, these guys shouldnt belay you! I nearly learned this the hard way!


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 Post subject: SA needs more heroes!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:31 pm 
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The negotiation and take everything you want technique usually ends up with the perbs taking everything they want + your life + your wife.

Go and thank that guy that put his life on the line for you. At least he sent a signal that not all whiteys are pushovers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:00 pm 
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What a tragedy!

How much do guards cost per hour/day?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:03 pm 
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must agree with heavy.

trooper, let me just get this straight: you know all the southpark caracters by heart, plus you let a carguard belay you(did I read that correctly???), then you mention me having half a head?
...
HA HA HA HA HA :lol:

i rest my case.

maybe I'll just go ahead and run 'my programme' next time someone tries to stab me in the neck for a few bucks.

One of the problems with you soft approach guys is that you've probably haven't had your life 'challenged' like that before, and then think the constructive way to proceed is to run a course with the poor, poor criminal...

And yes to 'aggressive policing' in this country! That's just synonym for excellence, something that lack very much in SA anyways. Probably the reason why we're still a 3rd world country...
peace!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:46 pm 
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I like the ideas below. It also ties back to keeping our crags clean, and vigorously discouraging others from making a mess / disobeying access rules. The scope for this is obviously huge and I'm sure many will have (mostly BS) reasons for not playing along. I know many people for whom sadly it's quite acceptable to drop that fifty in the Metro Policeman's pocket, rather than take responsibility and pay the fine. Violence breeds violence, petty crimes escalate to serious crimes.

Source
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Wilson and Kelling argued that crime is the inevitable result of disorder. If a window is broken and left unrepaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares and no one is in charge. Soon, more windows will be broken, and the sense of anarchy will spread from the building to the street on which it faces, sending a signal that anything goes.

..........
Quote:
...Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. In the book, he shows how New York City used this theory to combat crime in the 80’s and 90's. They found that small things like keeping the subways free of graffiti and stopping the fare jumpers helped combat crime because these small actions related a sense of caring as opposed to apathy. It signaled that the city was taking the subway back. Criminals were less likely to act out in an environment that was cared-for -- and caring for the subways helped stamp out crime by fixing the “broken windows”.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:15 pm 
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My pet hate is littering - We have already tuned our eyes to accept it and ignore it - have a proper look at our highways / pavements / parks etc, it sounds silly but this messes up our beautiful country and shows ignorance and most likely disrespect.

Remember the \"zap it in the zeebie\" campaigns? we need something like that to get people to have respect and pride for our country (its small but its doable) Maybe some forced military service will also teach people to have respect and pride, and thereby creating a nation who guard the law as opposed to a nation who has a culture of taking a gap and seeing if they get caught


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:07 pm 
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Mark wrote:
Maybe some forced military service will also teach people to have respect and pride, and thereby creating a nation who guard the law as opposed to a nation who has a culture of taking a gap and seeing if they get caught


Now there's a potentially good long term plan! Ja, bring back conscription I say!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:11 am 
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Pride and respect are not things that come forced. The military teaches obediance - how many people during apartheid blindly followed orders out of fear of authority? If that was respect, then this country needs no part in it now. Community service might teach people empathy and a real understanding of the context of this country, as well as some nation building.

But what do you do - I don't think you can blanket an issue with a generalisation like \"fight back\" or \"acquiesce\". You have to read the situation, stay calm and be proactive.

When you're Lucky Dube, and the guns fire before you can even try, the best you can do is try to get your kids out of the way.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:27 pm 
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Mark wrote:
Outreach programmes are great and they must happen, however the relevant society has to accept them as well as not overpopulate themselves and create their own vicious circle of poverty.


Eish! Where does this come from?!
"the relevant community"
"overpopulate"
"create their own cycle of poverty"

The logic seems to be that the Boven community (read black township community) has too many babies, so they are responsible for their own poverty. They are poor, so they rob and steal. So, why should a relatively wealthy (white) climber assist in alleviating poverty and building of skills, as it is their (read blacks') own fault anyway?

While I don't condone violence or robbery for one moment - no matter what one's financial situation is - I find it very disturbing that in this string there is a call for military conscription and blaming the poor for their own poverty. There seems to complete blindness to the legacy of apartheid and how a town like Boven originated with the SA railway system, which employed a "job reservation" policy for low-skilled whites.

Boven's history is rich with racial injustice. Community development programmes should be one of many strategies that ought to be considered to attempt to remedy the past.

Definitely not a call for taking up of arms or blaming the poor.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:36 am 
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Hey Mar, if you're defending poor people having too many babies, pop that noggin of yours out of that dark place. Check the Rotary's links to a place called Andeon - white people do the same thing and it's just as stupid.

As a rule of thumb, I think its a good idea that if you have difficulty feeding yourself, don't have babies, it's gonna make it worse. Contrary to popular belief it's actually quite easy to not have babies.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:51 am 
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Mar - I agree with one dog, you missed the point, when anybody says something people first look for the race angle instead of the intention. What I was saying is (and reread the whole thing if you like) - I'm saying outreach programme's must happen but they will take time to have effect - whatever colour skin you have there are issues like lack of education / lack of work etc which will affect the how long the programme will take to make a difference.


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