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Cape Town - The Bo-Kaap Civic Association says the death of Dawnsy Mieny, who plunged over the edge of the old quarry on Strand Street while trying to escape a mugger, could easily have been prevented by proactive policing and fencing around the quarry.
“It was an accident waiting to happen,” said the association’s chairman, Osman Shabodien.
Mieny, 47, a designer for clothing brand Billabong, had travelled from Jeffreys Bay to join her daughter Jasmin, 21, for the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday night.
They were staying at Jasmin’s home in the Bo-Kaap. They set out on foot for the arena and were walking above the disused quarry when they were confronted by a knife-wielding mugger. Jasmin said the attacker wrestled with her mother for her handbag.
“I don’t know how it happened, but she must have fallen or slipped and she started rolling down the hill. I was running, and she was rolling in front of me. I tried to stop her, but she was already over the edge of the big cliff,” Jasmin recounted tearfully.
Shabodien said there were no signs to warn people about the drop, and safety fencing was needed. He said the area needed a proactive police presence during events at the stadium. Opportunistic criminals, many living in and around an area known as “The Kraal”, regarded people walking along the quarry as easy targets, he said.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the path along the quarry was a detour rather than a shortcut. “I still have no idea how (Mieny) ended up there. She must’ve been misled,” he said.
Grant Pascoe, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, recommended that people follow the Fan Walk route to the stadium as it was much safer.
The city was open to discussing the issues relating to the quarry with the Bo-Kaap association. The issue would be raised with police and the area patrolled.
No arrests had been made by the time of going to print. On Sunday, the association will hold a “wreath-laying” ceremony at the quarry to pay respects to Mieny.