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Hiker Killed In Fall After Assault on Mountain Camp

April 4, 1987

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ A climber fell 1,000 feet to his death after he and his companion were attacked at their campsite high in the Drakensberg mountains, police said today.

The companion, Lourens Lombard, escaped and wandered barefoot through the rugged mountain area for three days before reaching the resort where they had begun the hike, police said.

According to police, the two white climbers were attacked by a group of blacks early Tuesday. The dead man, identified as Phillip van Rensburg of Pretoria, apparently fell off a cliff while trying to flee from the stone- throwing assailants.

Van Rensburg’s body was lifted from a deep gorge today by an air force helicopter.

The two climbers, reportedly on their first hike in the Drakensberg, had pitched their camp near the summit of a 13,680-foot peak called the Saddle, part of the escarpment that runs along the border of South Africa’s Natal province and the country of Lesotho.

Lombard, was suffered head and back injuries, told police that when he returned to the campsite after the attack, Van Rensburg had disappeared and all their belongings had been taken.

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