Signal Hill Incident - Sunday 07/04

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Andre (Table Mountain Watch)

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Apr 9, 2013, 11:13:58 AM4/9/13
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Hi Everyone
 
Anyone remember the initiative announced by TMNP with regards closing the boom on the Signal Hill road after 10pm?
 
  -  when was this announced?  
 
I recall a big whoo haa by Simon Grindrod back in Feb 2010 with regards security guards (Chubb etc) being deployed in the area etc. etc.
 
Some time after this initiative collpased closing the boom was announced as the next best solution.  I just cannot recall when.
 
We would like to know who decided that it was no longer necessary?  Lots of ducking a diving going on right now.  City says TMNP responsible for the area while TMNP says City is responsible.  Who is therefore accountable?  
 
Also - how come the Safety Forum did not send out alerts and information about this incident on Sunday???   How come it it is left up to us (mountain users) to dig out this information ourselves 2 days later????    If one of us had driven up there - through the open boom - on Sunday evening, would we have fallen foul of the same criminal scum?
 
Cheers
Andre
 
 
 
 

Andre (Table Mountain Watch)

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Apr 9, 2013, 12:08:42 PM4/9/13
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Here it is:
 
 
Thank you Ruth :>)
 
So - who left the boom open and gave these folks the impression it was safe up there again? 
 
Cheers
Andre
TM Watch

Francoise Armour

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Apr 9, 2013, 1:08:08 PM4/9/13
to Andre (Table Mountain Watch), Table Mountain Watch
If the City and TMNP keep deflecting blame the trick might be to get word to these 2 latest victims and tell them the full story in the hope that they take it up legally. If they learn that this could have been avoided because there was negligence, they might well be moved to do what we can't do .... just a thought.


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Francoise Armour

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Apr 10, 2013, 8:16:29 PM4/10/13
to David Fox, Andre (Table Mountain Watch), Table Mountain Watch
There is so much wrong with this article, I don't know where to begin...



On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 8:33 AM, David Fox <davi...@gmail.com> wrote:
I am afraid I agree: someone needs to take legal action. In this instance, given the circumstances, I would imagine that the victims could sue the parties responsible: the information suggests that the area is / was recognised as a dangerous, measures were put in place, but said measures were not in place at the time of the incident, thereby pointing to negligence. Someone must be held accountable.

I would have imagined as citizens we should be able to institute a class action along the lines of citizens having a reasonable expectation that the government / authorities take measures to ensure their safety. I am not sure if that is the correct term, or if such an action is possible in South African law.

As I have commented elsewhere, what is needed is some kind of legal watchdog that can take this matter further.

Regards
David
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David Fox

David Fox

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Apr 10, 2013, 2:33:00 AM4/10/13
to Francoise Armour, Andre (Table Mountain Watch), Table Mountain Watch
I am afraid I agree: someone needs to take legal action. In this instance, given the circumstances, I would imagine that the victims could sue the parties responsible: the information suggests that the area is / was recognised as a dangerous, measures were put in place, but said measures were not in place at the time of the incident, thereby pointing to negligence. Someone must be held accountable.

I would have imagined as citizens we should be able to institute a class action along the lines of citizens having a reasonable expectation that the government / authorities take measures to ensure their safety. I am not sure if that is the correct term, or if such an action is possible in South African law.

As I have commented elsewhere, what is needed is some kind of legal watchdog that can take this matter further.

Regards
David
On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 7:08 PM, Francoise Armour <armour.f...@gmail.com> wrote:



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David Fox

Spike

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Apr 11, 2013, 12:03:32 PM4/11/13
to Andre (Table Mountain Watch), Table Mountain Watch

Taking the stance to sue could in all likelihood lead to access limitations rather than improved security. I’d rather have free access to the mountain at all times and take care of  my own security.

Tread lightly or maybe have permanent regrets

Regards

Spike

Francoise Armour

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Apr 11, 2013, 4:13:01 PM4/11/13
to Spike, Andre (Table Mountain Watch), Table Mountain Watch
Good point, Skype, well said.


Eike Feltz

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Apr 11, 2013, 4:28:57 PM4/11/13
to Francoise Armour, Spike, Andre (Table Mountain Watch), Table Mountain Watch
What about accountability?

QoS

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Apr 11, 2013, 7:07:05 PM4/11/13
to Francoise Armour, Spike, Table Mountain Watch

Some thoughts:

Was the father who's son was stabbed to death on that metro train wasting his time proving accountability and responsibility at the con court?

If that young girl was your daughter would you be worried about 'limited access' to the park right now, or are you also branding her as 'stupod' like some people are?

If you wanted to go cycling in the park and did not have enough money for a permit, would you not consider this 'limited access' already?

What makes you sure that hikers are not on the list for permits next?

Are you prepared to pay between 18 and 30 % more on fees to access the park later this year - to cover security spend?

I was taught not to tread lightly when someone is not doing their job and even more so when someone shirks their responsibilities.

Greetings
Sent via Mobile phone

From: Francoise Armour <armour.f...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 22:13:01 +0200
Cc: Andre (Table Mountain Watch)<an...@qos.co.za>; Table Mountain Watch<TableMoun...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [Table Mountain Watch:331] Re: Signal Hill Incident - Sunday 07/04

David Fox

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Apr 12, 2013, 4:31:54 AM4/12/13
to Andre (TM Safety Action Group), Francoise Armour, Spike, Table Mountain Watch
Spike

As you appear to value your personal freedom above the safety of all mountain users, I think it worthwhile pointing out that the description of this group reads: "This forum was established to enable quick communication of criminal incidents and hotspots on Table Mountain - South Africa. We should take responsibility for our own safety on TM, share our experiences and knowledge gained, to prevent further occurrences and keep each other safe.", and that the name "TABLE MOUNTAIN SAFETY ACTION GROUP" is also applied to the group.

Regards
David

Spike

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Apr 12, 2013, 5:10:57 AM4/12/13
to David Fox, Andre (TM Safety Action Group), Francoise Armour, Table Mountain Watch

Your quote: "This forum was established to enable quick communication of criminal incidents and hotspots on Table Mountain”

 

The above quote was my reason for joining but it appears to be evolving into a haven for kneejerk reactions with questionable foresight, and confrontational politics. (And also some personal attacks against those who may voice differing or more reasoned opinions)

As the group seems to have deviated quite significantly from its original purpose, and in my eyes is becoming a liability rather than an asset, I no  longer wish to be associated with it.

For me the Mountain comes first and people with chips on their shoulders come last.

Have fun with the hobby of complaining until they put a fence around the place then pat yourself on the back at a job well done

Cheerio

Spike

QoS

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Apr 12, 2013, 5:55:24 AM4/12/13
to Spike, David Fox, Francoise Armour, Table Mountain Watch

We can only ask questions Spike. There is no assumption that one persons view is better than another's. You make some good points as well.

We ask only that people consider all views and that you remain engaged if you have the capacity to contribute and remain above the fray. Its the only way to have a say in matters.

Most people adopt the "smile and wave as you drive by" approach and that's fine as long as they remain receptive to all views and accept that they leave the decisions to others when they abscond.

We live in a diverse society and this is often forgotten when we only consider our own needs.

We ask whether enough has been done, is being done and whether what is being done will be happening 6 months from now?

Some people believe its time for an objective, dispassionate review of all evidence over the years and for a pronouncement either way.

None of us can do that as mountain users because of our diverse views, agendas and passions - but equally neither can The City or TMNP who are also driven by their own views and agendas.

We have structures in this country to investigate and reach conclusion - once and for all with whatever outcome / consequence - to settle this matter.

Do we use them in this case or do we accept what has happened and been said will be done and move on?

I hope you will remain engaged and continue to contribute but the choice is yours of course.

I ask everyone (this forum is massive now) to respect all views and to keep their eye on the ball here. Over 250 people have been hurt in the park over the past 6 years, culminating in this really nasty one.

Who left the boom open?

Cheers
Andre

From Dr. Suess: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. Its not".

Sent via Mobile phone

From: "Spike" <spike...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2013 11:10:57 +0200
To: 'David Fox'<davi...@gmail.com>; 'Andre \(TM Safety Action Group\)'<an...@qos.co.za>
Cc: 'Francoise Armour'<armour.f...@gmail.com>; 'Table Mountain Watch'<TableMoun...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: RE: [Table Mountain Watch:334] Re: Signal Hill Incident - Sunday 07/04

Craig Mason-Jones

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Apr 12, 2013, 5:44:20 AM4/12/13
to Spike, TableMoun...@googlegroups.com
Hi all,

I think both those who want to force government to provide safety on the
Mountain, and those who are concerned about potentially having the
mountain 'closed' have valid points. For good examples of the risks,
consider the sad situation with the pier at the Waterfront, now behind
massive gates, spikes, barbed wire, and a surveillance camera, as though
it were some sort of gulag. For Transnet it is easier to close the pier,
than risk someone being washed off.

My 2 cents is that the focus of any litigation or engagement should not
be that government _must_ make the mountain safe. It's pretty obvious
that they can't do that. They can't keep Khayelitsha safe, where there
are killings every weekend. So far we've only had one killing on the
mountain this year, so understandably (or not), the mountain will not be
a government priority.

But I think they must reveal crime statistics. I'm quite prepared to
take my chances, but I want to know what I'm heading into when I go
rambling on the slopes. It's much the same as having shark spotters on a
beach.

Keep safe,
C



Gill Gimberg

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Apr 12, 2013, 6:19:06 AM4/12/13
to Andre van Schalkwyk, Spike, David Fox, Francoise Armour, Table Mountain Watch
I've been watching this train of posts closely and there are a few things I feel very strongly about (even though I no longer live in Cape Town or use the TMNP regularly at present):

1. Reasonable attempts should be made to keep mountain users safe by keeping murderers, rapists and muggers out of the park. This is extremely difficult.
2. Permits, gates, etc. are not necessarily a solution - in fact, highly unlikely to solve the problem as they may well create a decrease in the numbers of legitimate users, giving the muggers even more of a free rein.
3. I would far rather see a park that is free for all than one where access is restricted. I hate controls and am prepared to take responsibility for my own safety. BUT
4. Signage is essential. Crime statistics and details must be available to all. People need to know what they are getting themselves into. Allowing foreign visitors from comparatively safe countries (i.e. ones where every third woman does not get raped in her lifetime at least once) free access is like sending lambs to the slaughter. Following on from this, I believe that Lion's Head, Platteklip, Maclears, the Cable Station and especially Signal Hill are where most foreigners (and less well equipped mountain users) are likely to be. Whatever it takes to make these areas safe - even if it means boom gates and curfews - should be done. (I'd prefer people though, trained and knowledgeable wardens.)
5. Everybody on this forum is free to express an opinion. Nobody should be precious about their own ideas. Argument and debate is useful. I will not take offence if somebody disagrees with me and argues against what I've said here - in fact, they may even convince me to change my own opinions.

Safe hiking, all.
Gill

Andre (Table Mountain Watch)

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Apr 12, 2013, 6:51:58 AM4/12/13
to TableMoun...@googlegroups.com, Spike
Well stated Craig
 
Our goal has always been to communicate these incidents as soon as they occur (for the exact reason you give - informed decision making) and is modeled on the 'shark spotter' system in fact (noone forces anyone to get out of the water).
 
Our problem (all of us) is the authorities dont and flat refuse to communicate and so we are forced to hunt for and find / source the info ourselves - despite numerous friendly and then later (sheer frustration) unfriendly requests.   The incident on Saturday evening / Sunday morning for example was well know to the collective authorities but we only 'discovered' it on Monday night.  The news went out via twitter (@tablemntnwatch) immediately and then via the Cape Times on Tuesday morning.  If this has not happened would any of us been the wiser? 
 
We are working on the premise that 'closing' Signal Hill down is not in line with the tourism agenda of Cape Town City and so would never be an option.  It has to go the other way in fact - revitalise / rejuvinate etc. (responsibly) and as a result better security happens automatically.   
 
I dont know when last any of us were up there but its certainly never been a world class site - not given the attractions it offers during the day and at night. 
 
Cheers
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