Women attacked in Groenkloof

Fiona Zerbst. She and her friend were both attacked while hiking in the Groenkloof nature reserve. Photo: Facebook.

There has been yet another attack on hikers in the Groenkloof nature reserve.

Fiona Zerbst and her friend Carmen le Roux were attacked, beaten and robbed while hiking in the reserve last Saturday morning.

Zerbst, a published poet and author of the book Oleander, said two men jumped out of the bushes as they were walking along a trail in the reserve.

“We had been jogging when two of the staff at the reserve came to us and warned us to keep a lookout, as some of the paths may be dangerous,” said Zerbst.

“Barely five minutes later, while we were walking down the same path, two men jumped out of the bushes.”

Zerbst, who has martial arts training, advised Le Roux not to show fear and to simply greet the men as their intentions were not immediately clear.

“We said ‘hello’ and they greeted us back. They continued to walk towards us. I noticed something was wrong when one of the men took off his shirt and tucked it into his pants,” she said.

The two men then grabbed rocks and ran towards Zerbst and Le Roux. One of the men then hit Le Roux over the head with the stone.

Zerbst instinctively reacted and pre-emptively attacked the man rushing towards her.

The two scuffled before the other man joined in and they pushed Zerbst into the bushes.

“The one then started choking me as I was lying in the bushes. Luckily I managed to kick his leg, so he let go,” she said.

The other man then grabbed a cloth sack she was carrying around her waist, which contained a phone and others items. The attackers also grabbed Le Roux’s phone, and the two disappeared into the bushes.

“We are fortunate to be okay, but something needs to be done to curb these attacks,” said Zerbst.

This is the latest in a string of attacks at nature reserves in Pretoria over the past year.

In May 2015, an elderly couple was tied up, beaten, and robbed in Groenkloof.

The modus operandi of the attackers in both instances are eerily similar.

On Thursday 21 May, a father and son cycling at the Voortrekker Monument were attacked and robbed by two men who pelted them with large rocks.

A 19-year-old Danish girl and a 16-year-old Centurion boy were robbed, beaten and tied up at the monument on 27 March and 2 May last year respectively. Both were cycling on their mountain bikes at the time, and have since recovered.

Also read: 

Two more attacks in Groenkloof reserve

Danish cyclist attacked and robbed at Voortrekker Monument

Another attack at monument

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Kristian Meijer

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