Attack / Mugging at Sandy Bay

A videographer from Hout Bay has described how two men wielding pangas attacked him and his professional surfer friend as they walked from the Sandy Bay beachfront.

“All hell broke loose for 30 seconds. They just started swinging the pangas,” Steven Michelsen, 30, said on Saturday.

His right arm was cut during the attack and needed 27 stitches.

Michelsen’s friend, Michael February, 22, from Muizenberg, was not injured.

The incident unfolded just before 4.30pm on Thursday.

On Saturday, police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said a robbery case was being investigated.

No arrests had been made, he said.

Van Wyk said one of the attackers was wearing a grey T-shirt and the other a blue T-shirt with a letter of the alphabet on the front.

Michelsen and February had gone to Sandy Bay on Thursday to film for a project.

After they had finished, they started walking back to the car park via a single-track path about 2km long.

The two men ambushed them from behind.

“We were about halfway, when I suddenly heard the fibreglass of (February’s) surfboard cracking. It was the panga.

“The first thing I remember seeing was the panga swinging through the air,” Michelsen said.

He raised his left arm and swung the tripod he was carrying in an effort to create some distance between the attackers and himself.

By this stage his right arm had been cut.

“(February) tried to hit them with his surfboard. We had weapons, the tripod and surfboard,” Michelsen said.

Once he had created some distance between himself, February and the attackers, the two panga-wielding men ran away after grabbing small items, including his cellphone.

Michelsen believes they ran off because they realised they could not tackle him – he is tall and strapping, weighing about 90kg.

He was relieved the attackers had not managed to get his expensive production camera.

“It was quite hectic… It could have been a lot worse,” February said on Saturday.

He had lifted his surfboard up to ward off blows from the pangas.

He said it appeared that their attackers had wanted to steal Michelsen’s production camera.

“They went for him. I didn’t have anything valuable,” February said.

When he reported the incident to police, he said officers had told him incidents, including muggings, seemed to happen often at Sandy Bay.

Michelsen said to describe the incident as a mugging or robbery did not seem appropriate because the two panga-wielding men had not said anything or asked him and February to hand over any of their belongings.

“It was an attack… These guys were so desperate,” he said.

Michelsen said one of the attackers appeared to be in his late teens and the other in his late twenties.

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6 Responses to Attack / Mugging at Sandy Bay

  1. Jordan May 18, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    this bullshit is getting f#cking crazy. Carry a gun where possible and blow one of these barbaric thug’s face off… that will send out a message and is frankly the only solution to this crap.

  2. Justin Lawson May 18, 2015 at 11:12 am #

    See the link below to an article with regards to carrying a firearm whilst out and about – the guys in this particular mugging were taken by surprise…

    https://www.climbing.co.za/2015/02/self-defence-in-the-mountains/

  3. Jordan May 20, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    different folks different circumstances. learn how to use it properly, and the odds are in your favour…

  4. Kenwyn May 20, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    agree with jordan. sometimes it is safer to shoot the muggers and sometimes it is safer to negotiate. depends on situation. there is no one size fits all.

  5. Garron May 21, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    Taking a dog along would work better than a gun.

  6. Kenwyn May 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    agreed garron. often it is better to have a bargaining chip like a dog and other times it is better to shoot the muggers in the face. like I said, it totally depends on the situation. each incident is unique and violence is not always the best response.

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