Image via Adobestock.
Image via Adobestock.
Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a tourist from Saudi Arabia in the Tsitsikamma National Park.
Lt-Col Priscilla Naidu, police spokesperson said an inquest was opened and is under investigation.
The woman’s husband was with her at the time of the tragic incident.
SANPark Rangers and National Sea Rescue Institute successfully retrieved the body of the woman.
Visitors who were on the scene shortly after the fatal fall contacted The South African to voice their concerns.
According to visitors, who wished to remain anonymous, the railing along that specific stretch was in a dire state.
“We wanted to follow that specific path but decided against it because of how flimsy the railings felt.”
Reynold Thakhuli, spokesperson for the South African National Parks (SANParks) denied the allegations.
“This trail is maintained regularly as it is the busiest trail in the park with thousands of people going there each month.”
According to Thakhuli continuous maintenance is carried out in theTsitsikamma National Park coupled with daily checks.
He said the fatal fall was an unfortunate accident that has happened.
“The rails along the route are not meant to absorb the pressure or weight when any adult person leans against it or exert pressure for that matter, hence in some areas of the trail it’s rope railings and at this specific area, it’s a wooden plank.
He said it is believed that with weight the timber rail attached to the pole with 4 -5 inch nails disconnected.
“I can’t say this happened as a result of the rail and this is the first time since this trail in the Tsitsikamma National Park was launched that we have experienced an incident of this nature. This is a pure accident as it has never happened before.”
He added that SANParks is working with various tourism stakeholders in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and SA Tourism to support the husband of the woman who had died.
“SANParks commits to providing the deceased’s husband who is also part of the tour, with all the required support in this difficult time.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the woman,” said Thakhuli.