Well-known rock climber killed during robbery at Mpumalanga resort
Respected rock climber David Wade was shot dead when he tried to help security guards during a robbery at an adventure farm in Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga, at the weekend.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi said the attack happened at Tranquilitas Adventure Farm on Saturday evening. Hlathi said Wade was visiting the camp when he heard security guards screaming for help. The guards were being held up by armed robbers.
"According to his wife, he went to investigate and that is when he was shot. Although police arrived immediately after the incident with their dogs, they could not trace the suspects as it was raining," said Hlathi.
The attackers are still at large.
Tributes have been pouring for the murdered climber.
Mpumalanga Climbing said it was truly saddened to learn about Wade's death. "He was an amazing young man," it said in a Facebook post.
Tony Lourens, writing on the SA Mountain magazine Facebook page, said: "I'm sitting at my desk, just barely able to control my anger and outrage at the senseless, cold-blooded murder of one of South Africa's most motivated, dedicated and talented climbers, David Wade, friend, son, brother and partner - loved by so many."
Lourens said Wade had been climbing for 10 years, adding that his life was "now sadly cut short by a terrible and unspeakable tragedy".
"We have lost one of climbing's most unassuming and loved characters. Farewell David. This is indeed one of the saddest moments in the 18 years of SA Mountain's existence, and one of the darkest, most depressing and heartbreaking times in all of South Africa's climbing," said Lourens.