Muizenberg, South Africa

The Nathan Frank Drama

from the memoirs of Muriel Chesler

Muriel Chesler wrote in her memoirs about Nathan Frank born Kanotop, Russia 1920, and aged 10 in 1930 Muizenberg  (Chapter 4).

I remember a drama which took place on this mountain, and the account of it which I sent in a letter to my mother who was away at the time visiting her sisters in Johannesburg. The instigators and culprits of this harrowing affair were two of my friends aged about twelve or fourteen at the time. With a younger boy in tow, (of about nine or ten) son of the local Rabbi, they were nearing the heights where the craggy shoulder began, when they met a group of adult climbers coming down. These people told them to turn back immediately as a heavy mist was creeping over the summit. The youngster, Nathan, began to cry in fear. Panic-stricken, he turned and ran, and was soon lost to sight. Scared themselves, the boys began searching for him. They searched in vain all afternoon. When it became dark they realised it was time to inform their parents.

The matter was promptly reported to the police, and search parties were hurriedly called out, including the local Boy Scouts. All night the mountain was alive with hundreds of people moving around in the dark with their torches and lanterns as, with the utmost difficulty, they combed a wide area for the missing boy.

At midnight they found him – unconscious in the middle of thick bush at the bottom of a high cliff, with a deep gash to his head. Although badly scarred he recovered after a long spell in hospital.

                                                                        Alumni of Muizenberg and stories