Catwalk crime includes attempted murder

Muizenberg police area are looking for any information that can help them in the attempted murder case where another elderly woman was attacked on the catwalk in St James, on Tuesday October 24, at about 2pm.

The woman sustained serious head injuries and is currently in hospital receiving medical attention.

This is the second time in a month that an elderly woman has been injured and needed hospitalisation after being attacked on the catwalk; the previous victim was Nicky Everett, 67, of Marina da Gama.

Ms Everett was attacked on Tuesday October 10 by a man on the railway crossing above the walkway, who lobbed a rock onto her head from his vantage point.

The identity of the woman in the second attack is currently unknown and police are looking for information which can help identify her.

At the time of the attack, she was wearing black jeans, takkies and a beige jersey.

She is approximately 60 to 65 years old, 1.67m in height with light coloured hair.

Following the attack on Ms Everett, the Muizenberg community joined forces, creating a public event, to walk the catwalk with banners reclaiming the area. At the march, many walkers appealed to the City to allow them to walk their dogs on the catwalk; to help deter criminals. The event took place on Saturday October 14, and also prompted social groups to be created on Facebook so that people can plan to walk in groups and not allow the criminal element to deter use of the catwalk.

Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south, said the City employed extra security to combat crime, but that it would not reconsider its rule about dogs on the catwalk as the area wasn’t amenable to unpredictable dogs and people being together at such close range.

Three arrests have been made in a separate incident, however. OnSaturdayOctober29, Muizenberg police were busy with crime prevention patrols on the catwalk, when they were informed by members of the public that a robbery had just occurred.

The officers, all on SAPS motorbikes, immediately responded and arrested three juveniles, one aged 14 and two aged 15, who were found to be in possession of the stolen cellphone and a knife.

The cellphone was returned to the owner, who was very pleased with the response and service provided by the SAPS officers.

The three juveniles were released into the care of their parents by the probation officer on Sunday morning.

They appeared in the Muizenberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday October 30.

Colonel Ismail Daniels, station commander of Muizenberg SAPS, was happy with the arrest and speedy action of the officers.

Captain Stephen Knapp, spokesperson for Muizenberg SAPS, offered some safety guidelines:

* Never walk alone, always try to walk in a group;

* When walking, do not talk on your cellphone and do not display jewellery or valuables;

* Be observant and take note of your surroundings;

* Be wary of strangers;

* Walk in well-lit places after dark and avoid open fields or secluded areas;

* When traveling on a train, be especially wary when the train is departing; and arriving at the station and guard your valuables;

* Be especially vigilant during peak times;

* Keep emergency numbers handy, and note descriptions of suspicious persons when alerting the police; and

* Trust your instincts.

Muizenberg SAPS are appealing to anybody with any information regarding the identity of last Tuesday’s catwalk victim or witnesses to the incident to urgently contact the investigating officer, Detective Warrant Officer Ederich Ganz, on 021 787 9014/15 or 082 522 1809.

All information will be treated with the strictest confidence.