Alas, the thug(s) that has been periodically conducting smash-and-grab thefts from unattended climbers' vehicles at Wellington's Dome has escalated the aggressiveness of his attacks.
On Saturday, 31 October, a small group of climbers (including one child) were climbing on the Sarcophagus, with a car guard attending the bakkie below. At around 15h30, we heard our car guard begin to wail loudly, followed by a smashing sound. While descending to investigate the scene, we saw a young guy running off toward the back-side of the platinum mine. Upon arriving at the bakkie, we saw the car guard's face partially covered in blood from an open gash on his neck, and the bakkie's passenger window had been smashed with a rock. According to the car guard, his assailant attacked him by striking him in the head & face with a bottle. We then phoned the police and beat a hasty exit to Farmer Jaap's, where the police arrived and took our car guard to the hospital after taking a statement.
This incident represents the first time that a person has been physically attacked at Wellington's Dome, and if the assailant had struck our car guard in a slightly different way, his injuries could have been quite serious. Jaap is confident that there is a single thug responsible for nearly all of the thefts that have happened to climbers at the Dome (if so, then he has enlisted an assistant in at least one incident). Given the direction of escape that the thug has taken in these incidents, Jaap is also pretty sure that the guy lives in a small settlement of 20-30 houses near the back-side of the platinum mine. The police are currently investigating the crime, and the attacked car guard has stated that he would be able to identify his assailant.
In the mean time, if you do plan to climb at Wellington's Dome in the near future (advisable on cool, cloudy days), it would be advisable to use two car guards and perhaps even to arm them with mace. I'll update this thread if we get any information about the progress of the police investigation. And please feel free to send me a message if you have any information from other incidents that might be useful to the police.
NB - In our hasty retreat from Wellies, we left three quickdraws on the south face of the Sarcophagus (two on the anchors of Eye of Osiris and one at the top of an unfinished line to the right). If anyone heads up that side and retrieves them, would you leave them with Farmer Jaap? Thanks!