‘Cliff of death’ near Herolds Bay claims two more victims
Cape Town – Concerned George residents have started a social media group, “Save Voëlklip”, after the bodies of two elderly women were retrieved at the notorious lookout point near Herolds Bay.
According to Southern Cape police spokesperson Chris Spies, emergency services were dispatched at about 6.45pm on Saturday after a member of the public alerted the police about a white Mazda that went down a cliff.
A search-and-rescue operation was launched to recover the bodies of the women, both aged 75. They were found at about 3.50am yesterday.
Two firearms were also recovered from the wreckage and would be sent for ballistic tests.
“The (women) sustained serious injuries and were declared dead by paramedics. George police opened an Inquest docket for further investigation.
’’An autopsy to determine the cause of death will be conducted during the week. At first daylight the recovery operation to retrieve the wreckage from the rocks was launched. Emergency personnel were still on scene, busy with the operation,” said Spies.
This weekend's incident brought to eight the number of vehicles to have plunged down the site since 2016. It has been dubbed the “cliff of death”.
Last month a 34-year-old mother and her two-year-old daughter were also killed when their car went over the cliff. The toddler's body was found at sea two weeks after the incident. An eight-year-old survived after escaping the car before it crashed.
George residents, who have been calling for local government to engage with the owner of the land where the cliff is situated, have now started a Facebook page to bring attention to all the tragic deaths at the site.
Group admin Andre Bruton said: “There has been too much talk and not enough action. It's time that we, the citizens of George, take action.”
Executive mayor Leon van Wyk said the municipality continued to facilitate discussion with the relevant stakeholders within the limits of its municipal mandate. “Following the incidents that took place in 2019, the ward councillor for the area submitted a motion to council in December 2019, which was subsequently debated and adopted and which in essence requested the municipal administration to discuss safety measures with the relevant stakeholders for the road and parking area on the site.
’’The land in question is privately owned with jurisdiction for the gravel road falling under provincial administration, and on that basis no council item has served with regard to the closure of the road or barricading it via gate, fencing and/or barriers, as municipal funds cannot be spent on land that it does not own or have jurisdiction over,” said Van Wyk.