Cape Town - A 20-year-old French woman studying at the University of Cape Town is recovering in hospital after she was stabbed and mugged in the historic Bo-Kaap, a popular tourist destination.
The woman was stabbed three times in the neck and her shoulder was injured when her attacker threw her to the ground.
The incident happened at 10am in Chiappini Road, a colourful row of houses that draws hundreds of tourists on a daily basis.
Chiappini street resident Maria Honig told the African News Agency (ANA) that the attack was caught on a neighbour's CCTV camera. She said she called an ambulance while her neighbour applied pressure to the woman's stab wounds.
Honig said the footage was "disturbing".
"It was very quiet, there was nobody on the road, and she was walking towards Wale Street and was met face-to-face with a man, a small scrawny guy. He tried to ask her something. He then pulled a knife or sharp implement and started stabbing her repeatedly in the neck, shoulders and chest. He wasn't trying to distract her briefly to get a backpack, he was trying to do some serious damage," Honig said.
The victim, who lives in the Bo-Kaap and has been mugged in the area before, fell to the ground and the mugger made off with her backpack and ran towards Longmarket Street.
She was taken to the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital when an ambulance arrived about 45 minutes later.
Honig said the attacker was known to police and had been identified from camera footage, but no arrest had yet been made.
Democratic Alliance (DA) ward councillor Dave Bryant said that the Bo-Kaap had experienced a spike in muggings, but it was the first severe incident involving a stabbing.
"It's a shock to all of us. There are lots of tourists walking around with cameras out. We have had incidents with muggers escaping into the quarry above. It appears it wasn't somebody from the quarry. There was a vehicle involved that was not from the area. Its still a great shock, we need to have increased policing, not only in the Bo-Kaap but across the city."
DA ward councillor for the residential component of the City Bowl, which includes the Bo-Kaap, Brandon Golding, said muggings and aggressive begging in the area had recently increased, but the City had deployed an additional 18 law enforcement officers to try and deal with the problem.
"Tourism safety ambassadors have also been appointed, about 10 or 12 of them have been appointed, to work with tourists to try and help guide them. We need locals showing people around that area, from a safety point of view. Tourists are seen as a softer target."
Golding said the perpetrators of a mugging which happened about a month ago were arrested. "Hopefully that will happen in this case too."