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Knife attack in kloof

Details surrounding an alleged knife attack at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve remain unclear amid calls for tighter security at the Reserve.

A WhatsApp message from the Hermans Botanical Society circulated on Tuesday afternoon about the attack: “I am sorry to have to report that at around 15:00 this afternoon a Cape Town couple was attacked by two knife wielding men on the board walk at the waterfall. I know no other details except that a search was conducted to find the men.”

The message also urged people to be vigilant when walking in the nature reserve and shared the Overstrand Municipality’s emergency number.

According to Dr Di Marais, chairperson of the Hermanus Botanical Society, the incident is upsetting.

“It is a public place where people walk to enjoy the nature and it is an invasion of our freedom,” she said.

Marais said the Botanical Society is very concerned about safety, as there are currently no security guards in the reserve.

“We have asked for security and there are still a lot of questions surrounding this attack,” she said.

Peter Hodgskin of Hands off Fernkloof said there needs to be a protocol in place for when there is an attack at Fernkloof Nature Reserve in order to record and respond to the incident. He adds that it is important to have correct information about such incidents so as to not spread fear, and for authorities to respond in the proper way.

According to Captain Fadila September, spokesperson for Hermanus police, the incident was not reported to the police, and she urges the public to report such incidents immediately.

The Overstrand Municipality told Hermanus Times they are disheartened by the unfortunate incident that has occurred in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, such as the safety of residents and tourists alike, which is of paramount importance.

The municipality says it will continue to work closely with all safety and security forums to limit incidents of a similar nature.

The municipality did not respond to Hermanus Times’ questions regarding security at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve by the time of going to print. The municipality has urged the public to save the following emergency numbers. Law Enforcement – 028 313 8996, 24 Control room – 028 313 8111 and Overstrand Fire & Rescue – 028 312 2400.

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