Tourist mugged on beach

CANDICE BRADFIELD

A YOUNG woman from Johannesburg was mugged at knifepoint and sexually assaulted while visiting Port Alfred’s East Beach last week.

Apparently two young men she was with had gone for a walk and her friend was at the water’s edge while she was tanning, said local businessman Warwick Heny, who arrived shortly after the incident.

It was at this point that the victim was approached by the muggers. This took place a few kilometers down the beach.

According to police spokeswoman Captain Mali Govender, a case of robbery and a second charge of sexual assault have been opened for investigation.

“It is alleged that on June 26 at approximately 1pm, the victim was on East Beach with her friends. The friends left for a walk and she was alone when she was approached by three unknown males,” she said.

They demanded for her handbag which she refused to hand over. One of the suspects then threatened her with a knife and took away her handbag which contained her cell phone, camera and car keys. The estimated value of the stolen items is R11 200. No arrests have yet been made, said Govender.

Heny said descriptions of the suspects were given to the police.

Surfer Mike Varela who came out of the water shortly after the incident wanted to know where the lifeguards and beach marshals were. He said this is a case where being proactive would have helped.

“We need to do more,” he said.

He said the mere 0.07% of the municipal budget being spent on beach safety was not morally correct.

Heny agreed that they needed marshals to walk up and down the beach to increase safety.

“We can’t have these attacks happening,” he said.

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