A cyclist in South Africa may face murder charges after stabbing and killing two men he says tried to steal his bike as he headed to a popular mountain bike park.
The incident, last Sunday 28 August, took place near the Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park, with the bike rider reporting what had happened to police, telling them he had been ambushed by the men, reports Highwaymail.co.za.
Jethro Nyandeni, manager of the facility which is popular with local mountain bikers and BMX riders, said: “I was told that one of our riders was on his way to the park when he was attacked by two men at the bridge just a few kilometres from Giba Gorge.
“The cyclist took out a knife and stabbed the two men. One died on the scene and from what I have gathered, the second man has died at the hospital,” he added.
Travis Goveia of the Giba Cycling Club said its members were advised to take a different route to the mountain bike park than the one the fatal incident took place on.
“This is not the first time something like this has happened on that road,” he told IOL.co.za.
“What did surprise, though, was how it went down and somebody dying.”
Chris Botha of the Netcare 911 emergency service said: “Netcare 911 paramedics, their rescue unit and the Police Search and Rescue arrived at the scene and had to hike down a steep slope for about five hundred metres before they got to the first man who had died on scene.
“The team hiked another 500m meters along a path and found another man lying near a river also with a stab wound. The man was stabilised at the scene, placed on a ventilator and airlifted to the ambulance.
“He was then taken to a hospital in Chatsworth under the care of a Netcare 911 emergency care practitioner.”
The man, who was also placed under police guard, died from his injuries there on Monday, it was subsequently confirmed.
Police are investigating the incident as a potential case of murder.
Lone cyclists in South Africa are regularly targeted by thieves, and national cycling campaign group the Pedal Power Association regularly provides safety advice.
In 2014, following another incident in Kwazulu-Natal, the organisation’s chairman, Steven Hayward, said: “A typical assault on a cyclist is either before sunrise and after sunset or when cyclists are isolated and very few other people are in the immediate area.
“Thugs will generally also choose a spot that provides limited escape options, where they can block your way and push your off your cycle.”
He added: “Cycling, particularly at speed, can feel less exposed but unfortunately it is very easy for criminals to push you off your bike or grab you as to try to ride past or away.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.