A number of muggings and a murder in the area have triggered calls for the temporary closure of Burman Bush in Morningside. Martin Meyer, the eThekwini ward 27 councillor, said he planned to urge the city to temporarily close the area.
Durban - A number of muggings and a murder in the area have triggered calls for the temporary closure of Burman Bush in Morningside. Martin Meyer, the eThekwini ward 27 councillor, said he planned to urge the city to temporarily close the area.

“It is in the best interests of the community to close it down for the time being,” he said.

Last month the Daily News reported on several muggings at the popular nature reserve. One of the people interviewed described the reserve as a hunting ground for criminals who preyed on nature lovers.

The Daily News’s sister paper, the Sunday Tribune, reported that 60-year-old Simon Milliken, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal double bassist, had been killed there during a robbery on Saturday. Meyer said he and city officials had visited the reserve last month and discovered that there was only one security guard at the 50-hectare reserve, stationed at the entrance gate. He said they also discovered that there were large holes in the fence. There were missing sections of fence up to 20m wide. Poles that propped up the fence were missing. They also found vagrants living in the reserve.

Thembinkosi Ngcobo, the head of Parks, Recreation and Culture at eThekwini Municipality, paid his condolences to Milliken’s family. He said they were aware of problems at Burman Bush. He said they would go there tomorrow to assess the area.

Ngcobo said it would be difficult to close Burman Bush until a proper assessment had been conducted. A seminar looking at the problems facing the various nature reserves was scheduled for later this month, he said.

Colonel Thembeka Mbele, police spokesperson, said no arrests had been made in connection with Milliken’s death. “Police from the eThekwini Central Cluster have been deployed in the area to prevent any criminal activity,” she said.

Daily News