Durban - Holidaymakers, including South Africans, sleeping at a resort in Mozambique have been attacked by about a dozen men. One woman was raped.
The men, some wielding machetes and sticks and others armed with AK47s and automatic guns, attacked the tourists on December 23 at Casa Lisa, just 50km north of Maputo, a popular overnight stop for tourists heading to and from South Africa.
Dean Hayward of Hillcrest and his family managed to escape.
Speaking to the Daily News from a Ponto do Ouro campsite in Mozambique on Friday, Hayward counted himself lucky to be alive.
“I woke up at 2am to people shouting and screaming, ‘Don’t hurt my family’.
“It was pitch black and I didn’t see anyone.”
Hayward said there were about 13 other people at the site, which has bungalows and accommodates campers and caravans.
“I got up and woke my family. We snuck out and got into our vehicle.
“The start of the engine obviously disturbed the gang, because the next thing we knew we were being shot at.”
Hayward said he sped off so quickly his trailer and boat dislodged from the bakkie.
With his wife and 11-year-old daughter safe in the bakkie Hayward said he drove for about 50km, until he came to a main road.
He flagged down a taxi and was escorted to a police station.
At about 7am he said he got a call from the manager, Bruce Buckland, asking if he was safe.
Hayward said Buckland initially told him that three people were unaccounted for, but they were found three hours later.
“If I didn’t manage to get out when I did, we could’ve been dead. I’ve done 10 years in and out of Africa and have never experienced something like this.”
Hayward went back to the lodge the next day to fetch his belongings.
Despite being shaken Hayward said he would not let theincident affect his holiday. He and his family would return to Durban early next year.
Hayward’s getaway was a saving grace for 58-year-old Gordon Allison, a professional diver from Zimbabwe.
Allison, travelling alone, was also woken by screams and was pulled out of his tent by one of the attackers.
Allison and a couple in the tent next to him had their hands and feet bound by duct tape found in Allison’s vehicle.
“They cocked the rifle at me and pulled me out.
“They asked me to unlock my car and ransacked it.
“They beat us with sticks and threw a blanket over our heads.”
Allison said two of the attackers moved the man from the tent and placed him by his side.
He said he heard the attackers drag the woman some distance away and heard two of them take turns raping her.
Allison said the attacker dropped the duct tape while tying his hands and used a blanket instead, which he managed to wiggle out of.
The attackers had by then gone to a cottage nearby.
While the robbers were in that cottage, Allison freed the couple and the three managed to run into the bushes.
The robbers chased them for an hour before they lost the trio.
Allison said they ran until about 4am until they came to a highway, under which they hid until daybreak.
Allison said he flagged down a motorist who took them to a police station about 40km from Maputo.
After making statements Allison and the couple drove back to Casa Lisa to fetch his vehicle.
Allison drove the couple to Nelspruit where the woman was admitted to hospital.
The woman’s mother, from Johannesburg, had come to meet her at the hospital.
Buckland refused to comment when contacted on Friday.
Staff at a nearby resort said an incident had occurred, but did not want to comment further.