Jogger whose achilles tendon was severed fears attacker's release
A jogger who was attacked while walking on the "catwalk" between St James and Muizenburg in Cape Town is hoping to raise R50,000 to ensure that her attacker is kept behind bars and such an incident doesn't happen again.
Angela Lindeque was walking in a group along the scenic path on August 4 when a man ran up behind her and hurled a large rock, narrowly missing her head.
The rock struck the back of her leg and severed her achilles tendon, leaving her in hospital since the incident, having to undergo five surgeries.
She expects to spend another two weeks in hospital after more surgery next week.
Her son, Kieran, has appealed to the public to raise R50,000 in a change.org petition in an effort to ensure that the alleged offender is not released on bail during the legal process.
"The runner could have been anyone. Any Capetonian who has enjoyed a scenic walk or run over the years. This time the runner was my mother," he wrote in the petition.
"Our families are no longer safe to enjoy our beautiful city. Every person has become a target. It needs to stop, and we, the people of Cape Town, have to stop it. The system is failing us!"
Lindeque said she believed her attacker was known to authorities and had been picked up before. "From everything we’ve been told he’s going to be released. He’s going to kill someone," she said.
"We need to make the charges stick. He’s well known for being violent, known to the prosecutors. They pretty much said that he’ll plead insanity and be released."
Lindeque recounted the events of "a beautiful Sunday morning" to TimesLIVE on Friday. She had seen the man standing on the ledge with a boulder in his hands.
"Running along and I saw a man standing on the ledge, holding a rock up. I thought, 'how stupid, he's going to throw the rock into the water'. As I ran past him I felt the most excruciating pain."
"I looked back and saw my leg. He was chasing another woman with a rock as big as the one he threw at me, and I was screaming for her to get away
Lying on the ground immobilised, Lindeque's peril escalated as the man turned around and ran towards her.
"I can’t describe the fear I felt," she said. "This man was going to kill me. In my mind it was taking forever, but people were coming down to help. The last I remember he was trying to escape before the guys chased after him."
The man was chased down by a group of joggers and then arrested by police.
The walkway has been the scene of numerous muggings and attacks, with three teenagers arrested in February for multiple robberies.
The Muizenburg District Municipality's website warned that "you are particularly vulnerable when walking past the underground tunnels below the train tracks".
"Make sure you only use the walkway at busy times or in a group. If you are jogging, it is better not to wear earphones as this reduces your awareness of what is happening around you."
Lindeque was well aware of crime on the walkway but felt that because she was jogging in a group, without headphones and with a good sense of her surroundings, that she would be safe.
"We couldn't have done more, but this still happened," she said.