Now is the time for for all friends, climbers, mountaineers and people who share Alard’s love of the mountains and want to support him to donate funds – to help him cover lawyers’s fees and expenses of more than R160 000.
Alard says: “In planning the route I consulted the map contained on the Royal Natal National park website. This map indicated that the west face of Beacon Buttress was located entirely in the Free State province and did not encroach into the World Heritage Site at all.”
The original map turned out to be incorrect and the 360-metre cable, secured with steel pegs into the rock face, accidentaly encroached 23m into the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site in KwaZulu Natal.
For this Alard was charged with:
Construction and development in the UKhahlamba Drakensberg park World Heritage Site without written approval of the management authority
Contravention of section 50(5) read with sections 1 and 89 of the National Environmental Management Protected areas Act No 57 of 2003
- Causing damage to an object of interest and disturbing soil or similar material
In response Alard has completely removed and rehabilitated the entire route, leaving scarcely visible scars on the rock where the pegs have been taken out and the holes filled in with sand.
On 14 August the charges against Alard were dropped and he was ordered to pay R38 000 to cover surveyor costs, do 50 hours service for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and put an apology in SA Mountain Magazine, all of which he will do. His lawyers’ fees amounted to nearly R100 000.
Alard’s intentions were always good, whether you agree with his actions or not! Yes they were controversial but his motive “providing an opportunity for less technically skilled climbers to enjoy the dramatic beauty of this area of the Drakensberg mountains in a safe manner” is faultless.
Any donation will make a difference and every donation will be appreciated, however small. To date his expenses have exceeded R160 000.
COST BREAK DOWN relating to Alard (many other individuals contributed hugely to the Via Ferrata)
|hard cost installation (everything else was donated)||8521|
|hard cost removal||4500|
|Lawyers fees (at reduced rates)||98000|
|Ezemvelo surveyor fee ( payable to Ezemvelo)||31920|
|Natal Mountain guide fee (payable to Ezemvelo)||6299|
|10 x court appearance in Bergville (petrol, toll)||10000|
12 days off work to appear in Bergville court.
Name: Alard Hufner
Branch Code: 632005
Account Nr: 4052309494
- Via Ferrata in the berg
- Ezemvelo Distances Itself From The Recently Erected Via Ferrata Route
- Recommendation for the construction of Via Ferrata
- Via Erbosa vs. Via Ferrata – The Grassy Road vs. The Iron Way
- Cable car plan for Drakensberg
- Vote on the via ferrata in the berg
- Worldwide warning to users of via ferrata sets
Via Ferrata Fundraiser for Alard Hufner