27 September 2017

South Africa: Seasoned Detectives to Look Into Robbery of Dutch Tourists

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has instructed a team of seasoned senior detectives from the National Investigation Unit to probe the robbery of Dutch tourists.

Thirty-six Dutch tourists were travelling from OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday evening when they were stopped by a South African Police Service (SAPS) marked vehicle with one man dressed in a police uniform and five others in civilian clothing.

The tourists were robbed of their personal possessions and two of them were reportedly injured and had to be treated by paramedics.

Minister Mbalula, joined by the Minister of Tourism Thoko Xasa, visited the tourists on Tuesday at the Zulu Nyala Country Manor, where he offered the visitors an apology for the incident.

Addressing the media after meeting with the group, the Minister said OR Tambo International Airport was the biggest and busiest airport in South Africa. "It is not only a National Key Point, but also plays a very strategic role in our country."

He said the SAPS will work to improve security systems at the port of entry and ensure the safety of South Africans and those who are visiting the country.

"OR Tambo International Airport remains the gateway to Africa, as well as opens the door to millions of international guests visiting our country annually. Therefore its security is of paramount importance to the SAPS, as well as the country as a whole.

"It must be understood that tourism plays a very critical role in the country's economy as well as providing jobs to many of our young people."

He said the police would take tough action.

"This act of criminality, we take it seriously. The actions we will take must serve as a clear sign that criminality will never be tolerated in our country," the Minister said.

The Minister commended the work that has been done by the SAPS team at OR Tambo International Airport under the leadership of Major General Dimakatso Ndaba.

They have scored many successes in the recent past. However, he noted that the recent incident was a reminder to remain vigilant.

Minister Mbalula, together with other ministers, met at OR Tambo International Airport on the 21 July 2017 with a view to improving the police security system to respond adequately to many 'follow-home' crimes that have been impacting negatively in tourism and the country's economy.

Minister Xasa said the incident was regrettable and was concerned that the tourists had to cut short their trip to the country.

The tourists flew back to Netherlands on Tuesday evening.

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