CAPE TOWN – A Singaporean tourist who was hit in the head with a rock during a robbery while on honeymoon in Cape Town said he and his wife would not be recommending the city to others as a holiday destination.
“In a greater context, this can happen anywhere else but as we found out, mugging appears to be common in Cape Town,” Eddie Ong told News24 on Thursday.
Ong and his wife Michelle Chang had been in the city for seven days when they were attacked on Baden Powell road in Mitchells Plain on the afternoon of September 9, 2017.
Ong said their rental vehicle had broken down on the side of the road when the “attackers” came over the sand dunes and threw a rock at his face.
“I was out cold for a moment. The cries from my wife brought me back to my senses,” Ong said.
The robbers then assaulted him further and made off with cellphones and an undisclosed amount of cash.
When Ong regained his senses, he drove to the nearest police station where he was directed to a hospital.
“[It is] fortunate that we survived the ordeal without any serious injury [such as] stabbing, gun wounds or even rape,” he said.
“There is still a mixed feeling of fear, anxiety, anger and sadness [following the incident].”
Fears of brain injury
Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that police were investigating a case of robbery. He said four suspects were being sought in connection with theft.
No arrests have been made.
Ong fears that he may have suffered permanent head injury. He said that he requires the expertise of a neurological specialist because of swelling to the right side of his head.
“I have been experiencing dizzy spells [I have] never felt before,” Ong said.
He said recovering from his other injuries – including fractured ribs, bruising to the face, deep cuts to his arms and a swollen left knee cap – has been “slow but sure”.
Ong encouraged the city to erect signs to alert tourists to high crime areas.
He said the experience had been painful both physically and emotionally.
“No-one (both locals and visitors) should have to experience it, or to live in fear of it,” Ong said.
PHOTO: Michelle Chang and Eddie Ong pose after paragliding off of Signal Hill during the honeymoon in Cape Town. (Supplied)