Women attacked at Avis Dam

Women attacked at Avis Dam

FOUR women walking their dogs not far from Avis Dam were threatened and robbed early on Saturday morning.

The women, who did not want to be named, said they regularly exercised their dogs at the dam and, since the environmental group Greenspace initiated security patrols last year, the area had been free of such incidents. The women say that when approached by three suspicious-looking men they cut across the field with the 10 dogs they were walking back to their vehicles.But they were cut off and one of the men fired a shot after one of the women broke into a run.She managed to fend off her attacker with pepper spray.It appeared that his gun then failed to go off, as he resorted to throwing stones at her retreating figure.The woman needed medical help for injuries sustained when she was struck by some of the stones.Meanwhile, her friends were robbed while being threatened with a panga.The men then fled into the bushes.One of the victims later said defiantly: “People should not be scared to come to Avis Dam.The more we are, the safer we will be.There is safety in numbers”.Greenspace co-Chair Melle Orford told The Namibian that Saturday’s incident was unfortunate but gave am assurance that the immediate vicinity of the dam was safe.”We are very disappointed about what happened.Avis has become a safe place since we [the Greenspace] took over and it has become a nice recreation area.This puts people off.It is unacceptable that people can’t enjoy themselves in the outdoors without the threat of crime”.Greenspace rents the dam from the Windhoek Municipality, and frequent visitors and members of the organisation pay N$1 to enter the area.Orford encouraged visitors to stay within near the dam, saying it was difficult to monitor people who ventured into the hills.* Additional reporting by Lindsay DentlingerThe women say that when approached by three suspicious-looking men they cut across the field with the 10 dogs they were walking back to their vehicles. But they were cut off and one of the men fired a shot after one of the women broke into a run. She managed to fend off her attacker with pepper spray. It appeared that his gun then failed to go off, as he resorted to throwing stones at her retreating figure. The woman needed medical help for injuries sustained when she was struck by some of the stones. Meanwhile, her friends were robbed while being threatened with a panga. The men then fled into the bushes. One of the victims later said defiantly: “People should not be scared to come to Avis Dam. The more we are, the safer we will be. There is safety in numbers”. Greenspace co-Chair Melle Orford told The Namibian that Saturday’s incident was unfortunate but gave am assurance that the immediate vicinity of the dam was safe. “We are very disappointed about what happened. Avis has become a safe place since we [the Greenspace] took over and it has become a nice recreation area. This puts people off. It is unacceptable that people can’t enjoy themselves in the outdoors without the threat of crime”. Greenspace rents the dam from the Windhoek Municipality, and frequent visitors and members of the organisation pay N$1 to enter the area. Orford encouraged visitors to stay within near the dam, saying it was difficult to monitor people who ventured into the hills. * Additional reporting by Lindsay Dentlinger

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