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Cape Town - Two Namibian tourists are in intensive care with head and leg injuries after scaffolding at the Absa Cape Epic registration area at the V&A Waterfront fell on them.
It was the second scaffolding accident in four months to injure members of the public at a public event.
On November 7, 20 Linkin Park concertgoers were injured, three critically, when advertising hoarding and its scaffolding collapsed on them outside Cape Town Stadium.
Danita Swanepoel, 23 and her husband Drikus were walking to the Big Wheel when the 12m-long and 5m-high scaffolding fell and pinned them down just after 9pm on Saturday.
Danita, who has 13 stitches on the right side of her head said her husband broke his pelvis, left femur and right knee.
“After supper, we decided to go on the Big Wheel. All I remember was walking in front of the wheel and the next minute I woke up on the floor. My husband was next to me, we didn’t know what had happened. I was in so much pain. There were two people who kept us still and calm until the ambulance came,” she said.
The rigging company hired by the Absa Cape Epic was taking down the structure when the incident happened.
Swanepoel said she would have noticed any construction safety measures as her father, who lives in Australia, worked in the industry.
“There were a lot of people walking around. I would have noticed something, but there was no evidence that there was a construction site or that they were busy. I can’t remember how I got into the ambulance, I just know my head was sore and there was a lot of blood.”
The couple were meant to return home on Monday but were recovering in ICU at a private hospital.
“Besides my stitches, my neck is very sore. The doctors told me Drikus will need a blade in his pelvis and a screw in his femur.
They are still not sure whether his left knee is broken, but he will need another operation. Our families were very upset when they heard about the accident.”
Swanepoel said she didn’t know how she was going to run their professional hunting business near Windhoek with Drikus’s injuries.
“I will have to get people to help me when I get home because he won’t be able to do anything,” she said.
Tanya Odendaal, Absa Cape Epic spokeswoman said she could not give any details.
“We will be launching a proper investigation as this is a very serious matter and it should not be taken lightly,” she said.
V&A Waterfront spokeswoman Carla White said the Absa Cape Epic was in charge at the venue. “They were de-rigging the scaffolding for the prologue event (yesterday). We will be giving our full co-operation to the engineers investigating the incident,” she said.