P.S. By John Scott: Sharks Should Thin The Mob

Cape Times, 10 November 1976: THE recent of shark sightings and catchings near the Macassar beach in False Bay has hardly put off a single visitor to the Cape. Don’t they read the newspapers?

I was hoping we might have a quiet summer for once. Let all the holidaymakers go to Durbs sun themselves this side of the shark nets.

Prospects of chasing away the madding crowd looked brighter with every report. Boatmen apparently seeing sharks in False Bay that reduce “Jaws” to an undersized upstart.

There is one they call the submarine. It is so big it sounds klaxon before it dives.

The fisherman offer their wooden boats as bait. Then, when a shark sinks his teeth into the hull they hit him over the head with the boathook.

The best known shark hunger, Mr Danie Schoeman of the Strand, started the season early by catching a four-metre monster over the weekend.

“Maybe there’ll be breathing space at Muizenburg beach for a change,” I thought.

To see how the water lay I telephoned the Muizenburg Publicity Association and I aid I had relatives in Rhodesia who are worried about coming to the Cape this summer because of the shark reports and pictures.
“What reports and pictures,” asked the lady.
“In the Burger this morning and in the Argus on Saturday,” I replied.
“Well there was certainly nothing about sharks in the Cape Times this morning,” said the lady with a finality that suggested all the other reports were suspect.
Unwilling to tamper with her total trust in the Cape Times and feeling a little guilty about my fictitious Rhodesian relatives I immediately phoned the Cape Peninsula Publicity Association with the same story.

“It is very seldom that sharks come close ashore in False Bay,” said their lady.
“There are only two or three floating around and they are trying to catch them”.
“What guarantee can I give my relatives if they won’t be bitten?”
“You can’ give them any guarantee. But I should imagine it’s more dangerous for them in Rhodesia a the moment that in False Bay.
“What should one do if one is attacked by a shark?”
“That is difficult to say. I have never been attacked by a shark. I might die of fright to star with. Why don’t you phone the department of fisheries? They will know exactly how many sharks there are in False Bay”

I didn’t because I knew they wouldn’t. But it was disheartening to discover that both publicity associations were so utterly sensible on the subject of shark.
And neither had received any shark enquiries, bar mine.

There is only one thing that stop the summer influx of upcountry hordes into their usual False Bay watering places. Mr Schoeman will have to bring the biggies ashore at Muizenburg, claim he found them knee-deep in surf and demand to have his picture taken exclusively by The Cape Times.


Cape Times, 10 November 1976, P.S By John Scott, “Sharks Should Thin The Mobs”



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  1. [...] for the morning paper, The Cape Times, penned a provocative, albeit tongue-in-cheek piece called “Shar... cliftonsharkfiles.com/2010/09/introduction

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