What was supposed to be a happy anniversary turned into a nightmare for a Gqeberha couple.
The incident on Wednesday has since raised concerns over safety and security in Summerstrand — a tourism drawcard that is expected to attract thousands of local and foreign visitors as the summer season approaches.
The couple, who declined to be named out of fear for their safety, were still visibly shaken as they recounted last week’s events.
They had their first date in September last year and were celebrating their one-year anniversary.
As a romantic gesture the man, 42, took his girlfriend, 43, to several places along the beachfront which they had visited on their first date.
“We ended the evening at a restaurant near the pier,” he said.
“It was around 11.30pm when we were walking back to my bakkie, and the parking lot was still full of other cars and people. At no point did we feel unsafe,” he added.
But things changed when took about 20 paces onto the pier and stood by the railing to look at the ocean.
Still deep in conversation, his girlfriend suddenly realised they were surrounded.
The robbers surrounded them and that is when they knew they were under attack.
Meanwhile, the other robbers had forced her boyfriend to the ground and rummaged through his pockets.
The man still had scabs on his ankles this week where one of the attackers had stood on his feet to restrain him.
The culprits took her handbag, containing her cellphone, wallet and other items, and then took off with her boyfriend’s cellphone and bakkie keys.
“They made me lie down with my boyfriend before casually walking away.”
When the coast was clear, they noticed the robbers had left with the keys, but had not taken the bakkie.