The AMS Skymed helicopter lowers a member of the search and rescue team to retrieve the remains of a man who died last night, on Lion’s Head mountain. The man fell at the same time and place where a fire broke out, on the upper north slopes of the mountain. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
The AMS Skymed helicopter lowers a member of the search and rescue team to retrieve the remains of a man who died last night, on Lion’s Head mountain. The man fell at the same time and place where a fire broke out, on the upper north slopes of the mountain. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Dead man found on Lion’s Head jumped off the edge like he was jumping into a pool - bystander

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jun 22, 2021

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Cape Town - The body of a man was retrieved near a recent blaze on Sunday evening, at Lion’s Head.

Warrant officer Joseph Swartbooi confirmed on Monday morning that the body of a 53-year-old man was recovered.

“The body of the deceased was airlifted by a helicopter from the slopes of the mountain,” said Swartbooi.

Cape Town police have registered an inquest for further investigation.

Wilderness Search and Rescue spokesperson Johann Marais said the body was found on Sunday night and certified deceased. However, due to safety concerns, was only retrieved on Monday morning by helicopter.

Resident Collins Ngonidzashe joined around 15 people, who had gathered and alerted emergency services of the incident, on Sunday evening.

“I joined the two guys that had bravely descended the steep slopes to help them search for the body and we were at various stages of the mountain at that point.

“When the first guy found him, he advised that the person was dead and had a broken neck, but later said he was alive when he finally got to him. I would go up and down to give updates to the guys who were calling the emergency services. Eventually, I couldn't go down further because I was causing loose rocks to trickle down the mountain,” said Ngonidzashe.

Twenty minutes after leaving the site, Ngonidzashe said he saw the fire.

“On our way down, that is where we met the rescuers coming up and we shared details with them of where we had seen the body and that two volunteers were there with him.

“That is when we saw a fire on the mountain, close to the summit, and the rescuers rushed up. The people who saw him jumping said that he took off his shirt and shoes and jumped off the edge like he was jumping into a pool,” said Ngonidzashe.

Warrant officer Joseph Swartbooi confirmed, on Monday morning, that the body of a 53-year-old man was recovered. Picture: Supplied

The City’s Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Edward Bosch said services responded to reports of the fire on Lion’s Head, Kloof Road, at around 6.37pm.

“Upon arrival, the fire service found what looked like a minor vegetation fire, just below the crest of Lion’s head, which was inaccessible at the time.

“The fire eventually burnt itself out at about 8pm. However, the fire engine and Table Mountain National Parks remained on scene to monitor any flare-ups throughout the night,” said Bosch.

Bosch said the cause of the fire is unknown.

Meanwhile, the South African National Parks said it will, on Thursday, communicate the findings of the blaze that started at the Phillip Kgosana Drive in April, that destroyed over 600 hectares of land.

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