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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:44 pm 
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I read in the Cape Times today that two men were mugged on Lion's Head yesterday as they were descending at about 5.30pm( Lots of the muggings seem to take place around this time if I am not mistaken, I thought it was because the mountain was quieter at this time but there might also be another reason since the mountain wasn't quiet yesterday when the mugging took place.)

One of the men that were mugged said 'that there had been lots of hikers on the mountain at the time of the attack.'

An independent mountain mugging database would also be a good idea where information such as where and when a mugging has taken place to see if a pattern emerges and then a report can be written for the public, to say muggings happen in this area because it very isolated or it is near a poverty stricken area etc.

I don't think the Table Mountain National Parks patrols or any other patrols can be effective as they simple don't have enough people patrolling a large area like Table Mountain for them to be effective.

A former top policeman on Carte Blanche said that the government needs to locate the source of the crime which is the poverty stricken area and to do something about the poverty.

I heard that the police that were patrolling by Table Mountain had to be moved to the areas where there are xenophobic attacks happening.


Last edited by Drifter on Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:47 pm 
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And here is the report on line... Academics mugged on Lion's Head

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:47 pm 
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Ya, this is ridiculous! Lions Head is not a difficult mountain to police. These bastards need to be caught before they encourage others to try their luck too.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:17 pm 
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Quote:
caught before they encourage others to try their luck too.


I'm afraid it's already too late for that.

Btw, stats are being kept and analysed. I'm not sure what Parks are doing.
Be safe.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:31 am 
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I heard that the Safety Action Group and Parks Board had a fall out at their last meeting as Parks Board thinks the Safety Action Group is trying to tell them how to do their job.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:11 am 
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Correct, there has indeed been a 'falling out' between TMNP and the Safety Action Group. This is highly regrettable, as any attempts at improving the safety of the mountain should be encouraged.

I'm not at liberty to comment in more detail, save to say that the attitude of certain senior Parks officials appears to have been lamentably inappropriate. Many of us are concerned that TMNP is showing an increasing trend towards displaying poor working relations with volunteer units.

I suspect that the volunteers who participated in the mountain patrols will mostly continue with their work, they will just no longer be actively supported by Parks. Quite frankly, to my mind, the more that is done the better. However, there are many people who are growing increasingly dissatisfied with the way Parks administers this mountain.

As a climber, I am very passionate about this little piece of our country, and I'm prepared to put in a lot of effort to see things work out here, whether we work with SANParks, or despite them.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:06 am 
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Just been looking at the SANParks TMNP Safety page

Be very interesting to see what the stats look like for the past year!? Also note: (Please note that these figures are for TMNP and does not include Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.)

If the authorities are not involved, how much harder is it going to be to apprehend offenders? Also, is the MCSA involved in this?
It seems like the Safety Action Group website is no longer in operation either.


Attachments:
File comment: Table Mountain Crime Stats 2004 - 2006
(Please note that these figures are for TMNP and does not include Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens)

tm_crime_stats.jpg
tm_crime_stats.jpg [ 25.68 KiB | Viewed 970 times ]

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:30 am 
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I have my own views on the effectiveness of some of the TMNP rangers. I posted this on the Sanparks forum a while ago. About 2 months ago, 3 of us went climbing on Lions Head and on traversing across the bottom of the main rock band on the Northern side to get to the area where we were going to climb, we came across a cave which obviously had someone living in it. There were blankets, a pile of firewood and a freshly used fireplace. At the end of our climb, on the way back to the car park, we came across 2 rangers, so I thought I would mention the cave to them. I may as well have been speaking Albanian. After I had repeated myself twice, the male rangers attitude was "So what do you expect we should do?". The female ranger was extremely obese and was looking exhausted from her walk up, lying like a beached whale on the side of the path but a little more mentally with it, eventually said "we will look into it". "Yeah right, I thought to myself, that was a total waste of effort on my part." On the Sanparks forum, the guy who heads the TMSAG, posted in reply that he had previously photographed the same cave and approached TMNP about it, only to be met with an attitude of total apathy and indifference. "It seems that to most of their rangers/employees that it is just a cushy job with the main aim to get through the day with as little effort as possible" was also a comment made on the aforementioned forum.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:13 am 
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The presence of more uniformed volunteers on Table Mountain will deter muggers and reduce the number of mountain rescues, says Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) manager Brett Myrdal.

The full article is on IOL.co.za --> Volunteers crucial to Table Mountain

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:39 am 
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There are factual inaccuracies from the Parks article, as usual, Myrdal is either hiding the truth or obfuscating.

There are records of 14 attacks in the park, not 10. Those are *reported* attacks. There may be many more we do not hear about. Don't expect Parks to tell you about them.

Their "10 point" safety strategy isn't working. There are questions as to how much of it was even implemented (or will be).

He states the "partnership with the SAPS is improving". It was virtually non-existent, inasmuch as it could not get worse than that, maybe it is 'improving'. It's still woefully inadequate, in my opinion, especially on the communication front.

How he can actually make a statement to the effect that the key is volunteer involvement is quite boggling. This in light of the way the Safety Action Group (all volunteers, all willing to patrol) was treated by him, in person, in recent meetings.

Parks basically want you to buy into their 'volunteer ranger' program, the uniform, the works. If not, then you're not welcome to run your operation on the hill, it seems.

Parks want the 'rangers to "Warn [hikers] against carrying valuables" - I'm not sure how Parks is going to sell the idea of walking on the hill without your camera or cellphone?

As for the "52 staff" patrolling the mountain... I have yet to see a single one on the mountain, in any climbing trip or walking trip I have done. Maybe they're there, and maybe not. I have seen a few walking on Tafelberg road, one in Kirstenbosch and two the road below Lion's Head.

As for the visitor information centres, there is one at Lion's Head (it is unmanned!), and one at Kloof Nek. The latter is manned by people who know nothing about the mountain (while on a rescue exercise yesterday on India Venster, we bumped into two foreign tourists who were lost going up that route (they'd traversed into the climbing area at lower butties). I spoke with them and they claimed they'd been to the info centre, where the person there had told them India Venster was a safe route up. They were inadequately equipped for any scrambling (the girl looked like she was wearing shoes akin to ballet slippers). They seemed to think the route was signposted.

There are people in Parks who care. There are people in Parks who try to do their job efficiently. I can imagine they are unhappy about the problems too. But, to draw an analogy, I know folk who work for Eskom who aren't happy with Alec Erwin or the rest of Eskom management either.


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