Pensioner mugged on mountain
Three broken bones and a few cracked ribs were what 66-year-old Annette Weber was left with when she was mugged while cycling on a service road that runs from the end of Tafelberg Road.
Although she was mugged last month, Weber only this week contacted the Cape Argus and spoke of her ordeal.
The Oranjezicht resident said she was still recovering from the attack and that doctors said she would still need "a few months" more before she would be able to gain proper movement in her neck and shoulders.
Weber had been practising for her ninth consecutive Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour on February 25 when the mugging took place on the road that runs above the city bowl.
Although the road is closed to motorists, the path is popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists.
Weber said she had been cycling uphill slowly when she noticed a man standing near the edge of the road.
She had not become suspicious because the man, who was "well-dressed", was drinking from a water bottle and looking at the view of the city, appearing as though he was a tourist.
It was also in the afternoon, and she had assumed she would be safe on a busy trail in broad daylight.
But, as she approached him, the man drew a knife and leaped at he, pushing her off her bicycle and falling on top of her.
While he had not stabbed her, the impact of the fall, she said, left her with three cracked ribs and three broken bones, including her collarbone.
"I didn't see his face because he jumped behind me and I was still on the ground, but he kept screaming: 'Give me your money motherf***er!'" she recalled.
Weber had not had any money on her, but the assailant escaped with her R5 000 bicycle and her car keys, which she has since had to replace.
A passer-by walking her dog took the battered woman to Cape Town Medi-Clinic, where she had to undergo an operation as a result of her injuries.
Weber, a German who moved to South Africa almost 40 years ago, said she felt compelled to warn people that it could happen to them after reading that runner Surita Meldau had been attacked on Union Avenue at Newlands Forest less than two weeks ago.
"My family are all outdoor people and it is unfair that we should be restricted by these thugs," she said.
"People should be able to have a safe place to exercise where they don't have to inhale the smoke of cars.
"It makes me so angry that we should have to run and cycle in fear, even if nothing happens to us, that fear takes all the fun out of it."
Weber said although she had cycled on the route regularly, she was unlikely to use it again because she usually cycled alone.
"That road is the closest trail to my house and it has a lot of up and down hills that are good for training, but I will never take that path again and I will tell everyone I know not to use it or at least warn them about what can happen," she said.
However, Weber said she was determined to continue cycling once she had fully recovered.
"I am a member of the Swiss cycling club, so I will definitely get on a bike again hopefully in time for next year's cycle tour."
Police spokesman Billy Jones confirmed that a case of robbery had been reported to the police last month.
Jones said a suspect had been identified and an identity parade had been held but the complainant had been unable to successfully link anyone to the case. He said no arrests had yet been made.