A group of elderly people say they had a ride from hell on Robben Island after a tour bus mishap, leaving them bloodied and bruised.
The members of the Gatesville Neighbourhood Watch say they’d saved for months for their first trip to the world-renowned heritage site.
But a door was left open and blown off by the wind, causing the driver to brake hard, flinging the passengers out of their seats.
“We planned this trip in December for senior citizens – 23 seniors and 17 adults – so every month people came and dropped their money at my place,” says Fouwzia Veerasamy from the neighbourhood watch.
“The total for the trip was R11 900, and we went to Robben Island on Wednesday for a day trip,” she said.
She tells the Daily Voice they took the ferry to the island and got on the bus to go to the prison, but the driver failed to notice that the back door wasn’t shut.
“And his rear view mirror was cracked so he couldn’t see what was going on, the bus took off with the door open at the back.
“The assistant put someone’s wheelchair in and then didn’t close the door and the door got ripped off by the wind when we were by the entrance and the driver hit the brakes.
“The people got flung off their seats at the back, the rest of the group got head and knee injuries.
“Mr Rajah, who is 75, was thrown off from his chair and fell on the floor, the others had open wounds, head injuries, nails were off, some looked like they were burned, basically we all had injuries.
“We were told to get off the bus and we had to wait for the medics, more like first aid people, and they said if there is anyone seriously injured, they would take them to the mainland.”
She says while the group waited for a new bus, the tour guides urged them to continue the tour on foot.
“The tour guides told us to continue with the trip even though there were people who were hurt in the accident. They told us that at 11am we had to be off the island.
“We walked all the way to the first cell, people were shocked, shivering, and told we couldn’t eat. We went to the cells and they told us about the history of Cape Town.
“And the tour guide had the audacity to ask us for a R10 tip each.”
Fowzia says it was the worst trip of their lives and they are demanding an apology.
“We want to be compensated because no one acknowledged the injuries and the treatment we received was very poor.
“They only reimbursed six people and not the rest of us, so we want all of our money back,” she says.
Siphuxolo Mazwi, the spokeswoman for Robben Island Museum, said: “Please note that Robben Island Museum is aware of the incident and is currently investigating the matter.”