Crime against World Cup visitors increases
Between 30 and 40 newspaper clippings were presented as evidence of life in South Africa. “One article exhibited was published in [the Daily Sun in 2004] by Africa Ka Mahamba. [It was] entitled ‘Taking from whites is not a crime’,” Kaplan said. The article quotes the leader of the “Uhuru cultural club” as telling youngsters who attended a Human Rights Day celebration to steal from whites because “it is the right thing to do”.
A spate of armed attacks and robberies against foreign World Cup visitors have been reported and the numbers are increasing exponentially.
The Greek national soccer squad and a group of Chinese World Cup visitors have fallen victim to crime ahead of the opening of the tournament, police said yesterday.
Armed men held up a bus-load of Chinese tourists when they stopped in an informal settlement in Germiston and made off with the digital camera and cellphone of a Chinese man with SA citizenship. The gunman and three accomplices sped away from the scene.
This followed reports a Chinese camera crew were robbed of cash and camera equipment at gunpoint outside Soccer City stadium in Soweto after the attackers smashed their car window.
On the same day eleven foreign tourists were robbed when thieves broke into their locked tourist bus at a wine estate in the scenic Western Cape. The tourists, including one from Denmark, Finland, Canada, Sweden, and seven from Tanzania left their belongings on the bus while visiting a wine estate in Stellenbosh, 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Cape Town. The driver and the tourists returned to find the bus door ajar and their possessions missing. Nine passports, two cell phones, two digital cameras, five credit cards, a wrist watch, a laptop, an MP3 player and cash were stolen.
Foreign currency was stolen from the Southern Sun, Beverley Hills Hotel rooms of the Greek World Cup squad in Umhlanga on Tuesday.
News of the theft comes on the eve of the tournament and a fortnight after the Colombian team also had a similar amount of cash stolen from their rooms while staying in the Southern Sun hotel in Hyde Park, Sandton.
And another robbery at gunpoint of three European journalists, one Spanish and two Portuguese journalists, Antonio Simoes, Rui Gustavo and Miquel Cerano at the Nutbush Boma lodge in Magaliesburg, north-west of Johannesburg on Wednesday.
On Friday thieves broke into the Uruguay team hotel and stole R91,800 from a safe in the Cape Town hotel room of two members of the squad while they were playing their match against France at the World Cup.
Foreign journos robbed at gunpoint
Three Chinese journalists have been robbed in South Africa in the latest incident to highlight the dangers for the media and visitors as the World Cup kicks off today.
The journalists were ordered out of their taxi at gunpoint in broad daylight at Johannesburg traffic lights on Wednesday and robbed of cameras and equipment worth HK$78,000.
They were on their way to the main stadium for the opening match in Soweto just hours after arriving in the country when the robbery occurred.
The incident follows another armed robbery of Spanish and Portuguese journalists at a lodge north of Johannesburg on the same day.
Radio 702 reported that several journalists from Portugal and Spain were robbed at gunpoint at their hotel in Magaliesburg, which is north-west of Johannesburg.
A journalist said that some of his colleagues were caught up in the robbery, during which professional photo equipment, cash and passports were stolen.
'A group of armed men entered the hotel and started looking for valuables. They targeted the journalists' rooms.
They stole all their professional equipment, TVs, cameras, laptops, and cell phones.
The journalists from Portugal were asleep in their chalets at Nutbush Boma Lodge in Magaliesburg at the time of the robbery in the early hours of this morning.
The journalists were overpowered at their 4-star lodge on the West Rand, about 60km from Fourways. The suspects broke into three rooms at approximately 4am and stole the equipment of the journalists staying in the rooms. SAPS spokesperson said one of the robbers pointed a gun at one of the journalists when he woke up, told him to lie down and then ransacked his room. They then went to the room of the other two journalists who remained asleep while the robbers ransacked their rooms.
The incident occurred 20km from the Portuguese soccer team's base camp. The team has around the clock protection from police officers.
Security has been one of the major topics ahead of the World Cup and there are doubts whether South African officials can guarantee the safety of visitors.
» » » » [The Citizen (deleted) (PDF)]
Greek players victims of hotel robbery
10 June 2010
by Apostolos Papapostolou, Greek Reporter, Greece
Three Greece players at the World Cup have had money stolen from their hotel rooms, police say.
Lt. Colonel Leon Engelbrecht said Thursday the unidentified players reported $1,921 had been stolen from their rooms on Tuesday night at the Beverly Hills Hotel (photo) in the resort of Umhlanga, just north of Durban.
Engelbrecht said the Greek squad has told police it doesn’t want a case opened over the theft.
Skai TV reported that striker Angelos Charisteas and Panathinakos winger Sotiris Ninis returned to their room to find that they each had about 500 euros missing.
The theft happened only hours before three foreign World Cup journalists were robbed, one at gunpoint, at a hotel in Magaliesburg, in the northwest of the country. The journalists lost money, camera equipment, laptop computers and mobile phones.
» » » » [Greek Reporter, Greece]
[China, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Republic of Korea, Japan and Colombia] Foreigners robbed in South Africa ahead of World Cup
08:22, June 11, 2010
People's Daily, China
Before the FIFA World Cup kicks off Friday, visitors to South Africa from China, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Republic of Korea, Japan and Colombia have fallen victim to crimes.
But none was injured.
The latest incident to be reported on Thursday involved the Greek national soccer squad, who had a large amount of cash stolen from their hotel rooms in Umhlanga near Durban.
Chinese World Cup visitors saw an escort being robbed near Johannesburg the day before the tournament opening.
South African police spokesman Vish Naidoo told South African Press Association (SAPA) the escort, a Chinese man with South Africa citizenship, was accompanying a bus with 20 Chinese tourists in Germiston east of Johannesburg on Thursday.
SAPA reported that the escort was traveling in his own car. The vehicles stopped in an informal settlement to watch a film being shot.
An armed man held up the escort and took his digital camera and cell phone.
The gunman and three accomplices sped away from the scene. "None of the tourists was hurt," Naidoo said.
Earlier in the week, Chinese cameramen were reportedly robbed of cash and camera equipment at gunpoint outside Soccer City in Soweto after the attackers smashed their car window.
South African police also confirmed that foreign currency was stolen from the hotel rooms of the Greek World Cup squad in Umhlanga north of Durban on Tuesday.
Naidoo said detectives had interviewed the players and were trying to convince them to report the case.
"They refused to open a case but we have sent a high-level delegation of detectives to interview them and try to pursue an investigation."
The acting manager of the Beverly Hills Hotel, Patsy Esposito, declined to discuss the matter and Southern Sun Hotels spokeswoman Priya Naidoo dismissed it as "an allegation."
South African police said they have arrested a fourth suspect for robbing two Portuguese and one Spanish journalist in Magaliesburg, north-west of Johannesburg.
"We have arrested four suspects. We are confident that we have the right people," South African national police commissioner Bheki Cele's spokeswoman, Nonkululeko Mbatha told SAPA.
"We have recovered most of the stolen items. We are still questioning them, so there is the chance that we can still recover more."
In Cape Town a special World Cup magistrate's court dealt with its first three cases this week, including a theft from a Japanese tourist in a police station.
The theft took place on Tuesday at Caledon Square station in the city center, police head of 2010 operations in the Western Cape Major-General Robbie Roberts said.
"He was in the CSC (community service center) in Cape Town police station and he left his bag unattended in the CSC.
"He went up on the third floor and when he came down he determined that the bag was gone."
Police had used closed-circuit television cameras to identify the suspect, a woman, who was arrested.
Beeld newspaper in Johannesburg reported on Thursday that a Korean television executive had been robbed of electronic equipment in central Johannesburg.
In another incident in late May, the Colombian football team had cash stolen from their rooms at the five-star Hyde Park Southern Sun Hotel in northern Johannesburg when they played a friendly match against South Africa.
Two hotel employees were later charged with theft.
» » » » [People's Daily PDF)]
» » [Malaysian Star: Scary moments in South Africa (PDF)]
[New Zealand] TV crew robbed
Rustenburg - Burglars stole camera equipment worth $70 000 from a New Zealand television crew covering the Soccer World Cup in South Africa, police and the network said on Sunday.
The theft took place at a hotel in northwestern Rustenburg, where the All Whites are due to play Slovakia on Tuesday, when a door was forced open with a jemmy (short crowbar) while the crew was out having dinner, TVNZ said on its website.
The stolen equipment includes a camera, sound and lighting equipment, satellite equipment and laptop worth about $70 000.
"It's a very timely and sobering reminder of how vigilant all Kiwis travelling to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup need to be," said Paul Patrick, the editor of the network's ONE News.
A police spokesperson confirmed that it had received a complaint from a male journalist from New Zealand.
"He laid a charge of housebreaking and theft," Colonel Junior Metsi told AFP.
The police could not confirm the value of the equipment.
"We only know that it's the equipment that they are using to do the work," Metsi said.
The New Zealanders are the latest victims of crime against international journalists covering the World Cup. A Chinese news crew was held at gunpoint last week while armed robbers also broke into the hotel room housing journalists covering the Portuguese team.
» » » » [News 24 (PDF)]
US fan charges corrupt [Traffic] cop
Johannesburg - An American fan has opened a case against a traffic officer who allegedly solicited a R1 000 bribe from him in Sandton, Johannesburg metro police said on Wednesday.
The fan had brought charges at the Sandton police station and lodged a complaint with the metro police's internal affairs, said Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.
An identity parade on Wednesday had to be postponed because the fan could not attend, he said.
Minnaar has urged motorists to report corruption.
» » » » [Sport 24]
Colombia team robbed by SAfrica hotel workers
Posted 5/28/2010 8:20 AM
By Donna Bryson, Associated Press Writer, USA Today
JOHANNESBURG — Police say two hotel workers stole money from members of Colombia's football team, which is in South Africa for a friendly against the World Cup host.
Police spokesman Eugene Opperman said Friday the Colombian players' hotel rooms were cleaned while they were training on Tuesday, and when they returned they discovered cash was missing.
Media reports say that around $2,800 was taken from suitcases in the rooms but police would not confirm that.
Opperman said two employees appeared in court Thursday on theft charges. A third, who had also been arrested, was later released after being cleared of involvement.
"Everything has been sorted out and the issue was well managed," Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina told Associated Press Television. "The important thing is that everything has been sorted out."
Ospina said he did not know how much money had been stolen.
The incident occurred at the five-star Southern Sun hotel in the plush northern Johannesburg suburb of Hyde Park the same hotel where Slovenia will be based during the World Cup. Slovenia is scheduled to arrive on June 8.
"It was a case of petty theft and swift action was taken with two arrests made and two suspects having already appeared in court," local organizing committee spokesman Rich Mkhondo said.
"This is a clear indication of how seriously the South African police authorities view criminal acts of any kind and also shows they are well equipped and prepared to deal with security matters during the tournament."
Egypt's football team was robbed of nearly $2,500 at its Johannesburg hotel during last year's Confederations Cup.
» » » » [Excerpt: USA Today]
Four Chinese World Cup journalists robbed on Johannesburg street
Four Chinese journalists covering the football World Cup finals in South Africa were robbed of a camera and cash in a Johannesburg street, a news report said Thursday.
The four journalists were approached by a "several armed black people" after they pulled over to the side of the road en route to an interview in their rented car on Wednesday, the Beijing News said, DPA reported.
The robbers pulled down a car window and demanded that the journalists open the door, the newspaper said.
The robbers then made "serious threats" to the closest occupant of the car, taking his cash and a camera valued at about 10,000 yuan (1,500 dollars).
None of the journalists was injured, the newspaper said.
The report did not say how many robbers approached the car or what weapons they were carrying.
The newspaper said it was investigating unconfirmed reports that another Beijing-based Chinese journalist had been robbed in South Africa.
"South Africa is not safe. This is already common knowledge for everyone," it said.
News of the crime follows the robbery of three other foreign journalists - two Portuguese and one from Spain - on Wednesday by armed men in their guest lodge.
» » » » [Excerpts: Trend AZ]
» » [AFP/Google: China journalists robbed at World Cup]
» » [Thai Nation: Four Chinese World Cup journalists robbed on Jhb street]
[Portuguese & Spanish] Foreign journalists robbed
Johannesburg - Members of the Portuguese media contingent covering the 2010 Soccer World Cup tournament were robbed at gunpoint, police sources confirmed to Beeld on Wednesday morning.
Portugal, a favourite to win the Cup, beat Mozambique 3-0 in a friendly in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
The journalists were overpowered at their 4-star lodge on the West Rand, about 60km from Fourways, at about 04:30.
» » » » [Sport 24]
» » [IOL: Three Held for WC Robbery]
» » [Politicsweb: World Cup Robbers Arrested]
[Portuguese & Spanish Robbery] Journo robbery 'rare incident'
Lunga Biyela, News24
Cape Town - The co-owner of the lodge where three foreign journalists were robbed on Wednesday morning says this is the first major incident they've had in the 15 years that they've been open.
Three journalists, two from Portugal and one from Spain, were robbed in their rooms at Nutbush Boma Lodge in Magaliesburg by armed men at about 04:00. Two of them slept through the incident.
They are in the country as part of the foreign media contingent to cover the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
"I am more than angry because we've built up a wonderful reputation along the years," Nutbush co-owner Nick Mauerberger told News24.
"This has never happened before."
He said the lodge had 24 hour security available, and had been approached by the police leading up to the World Cup as they had a large contingent of Portuguese press staying at their lodge.
"They told us that they would make a few police officers available to us. When we later contacted them, they informed us that security was our responsibility," he said.
Entered via mountain
Mauerberger said he suspected that the robbers gained entry through the top of the mountain.
"We've spoken to police and they've told us that they're following a few leads.
Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Notícias reported that a photographer working for Global Images was allegedly woken up with a firearm pointed to his head.
Antonio Fimoes told AFP that he was the only one to wake up when the robbers came in.
"There were two of them. One of them had a pistol and pointed it at my head and told me to shut up while the other one rummaged through our things.
"They got away with some money, passports, photographic material and clothing. In the other rooms where my colleagues were sleeping, they just took what they could find."
Eyewitness News reported that equipment, TVs, cameras, laptops and cellphones were stolen.
"Everybody is fine and no one was injured," a friend of one of the journalists said.
» » » » [Excerpts: Sport 24 (PDF)]
[Five Robbed, 1 Woman Sexually Assaulted] Australian fans bound and robbed in South Africa
June 27, 2010
Maris Beck, The Age, Australia
A GROUP of Australian soccer fans in South Africa, including an off-duty federal police officer, were bound, robbed and assaulted at gunpoint after watching the Socceroos play Serbia.
Four Australians and a London couple were returning to their lodge after watching the game about midnight on Thursday, when four armed men ambushed them.
They were attacked as the manager was showing them to their rooms at the plush Hamilton Parks Country Lodge in Hazyview, a remote area north-east of Johannesburg.
The mother of the lodge manager, Nola Molich, speaking from Hazyview last night, said the armed men had hidden around the corner as her son let the guests into their rooms.
''The guys came up to him with a gun and said, 'Right, get back in.' He went in and they locked the door behind him and asked for all their goodies.''
The South African policeman investigating the case, Captain Jacky Mbuyane, said the victims' hands were tied behind their backs with shoestrings, while the thieves took mobile phones, laptops, passports, and money.
He said the woman was sexually assaulted, for which she received medical treatment, but she was not raped. ''Emotionally, she was hurt. She was upset.''
» » » » [Excerpt: The Age (PDF)
» » [Herald Sun: Aussie soccer fans robbed at gunpoint in South African hotel (PDF)]
6 held for [Armed] robbing [Chilean] soccer fan
Nelspruit - Six people who allegedly robbed a hotel in Mpumalanga and held up a Chilean soccer fan were arrested in White River, police said on Saturday.
Captain Leonard Hlathi said the men allegedly robbed the Pine Inn hotel in White River of R4 000 and held up 33-year-old Sergio Divona at gun point, before fleeing with his shoes and cellphone on June 6.
They were arrested on Thursday after police found them in possession of both stolen items.
Hlathi said a 9mm pistol, believed to have been used during the robbery, was recovered.
The six were expected to appear in the White River Magistrate's Court on Monday.
» » » » [Sport 24]
Uruguay football official's hotel safe robbed
Posted 6/12/2010 2:36 PM
KIMBERLEY, South Africa (AP) — An Uruguayan football association official has been robbed of money from a safe in his hotel room in Cape Town, and a pair of New Zealand television journalists had their equipment stolen from their hotel in Rustenburg.
The robbery involving the Uruguayan occurred Friday morning at the Vineyard hotel, several hours before Uruguay's match with France. Police and hotel management were notified, association president Sebastian Bauza said. The amount stolen was more than $4,000, according to the association.
"Of course, they (the hotel staff) didn't admit that money was missing nor did they find the person responsible (for the theft)," Bauza said, adding that the hotel management denied responsibility for the theft.
The hotel is about 10 minutes from the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town and the Uruguayan team stayed there only one night.
The victim was the Uruguayan association's executive board president, Ernesto Rodriguez Altez, and he was part of a 15-member delegation traveling with the team, officials said.
Rodriguez shared the hotel room with another member of the delegation, but Bauza said that person didn't have any connection with the theft.
"We knew that we came to a World Cup where they would be security problems," Bauza said.
In another incident, TV New Zealand's correspondent and cameraman were robbed of all their equipment at the FIFA-approved Sparkling Waters hotel in Rustenburg, foreign editor Max Hayton said. Thieves smashed their hotel room door when the two were out to dinner, he said. The estimated loss was $100,000.
» » » » [USA Today (PDF)]
[Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Tanzania Tourists Robbed at Winefarm] Greek players, Chinese reporters robbed
By Jon Herskovitz and Shrikesh Laxmidas, Reuters
Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:20am IST
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Three Greek World Cup players had money stolen from their hotel rooms and Chinese journalists were robbed at gunpoint, officials said on Thursday.
Another 11 tourists were robbed of passports and luxury goods while visiting a wine farm near Cape Town, adding to several separate incidents against tourists less than 24 hours ahead of the opening match between host nation South Africa and Mexico.
The incidents in the crime-plagued host country follow the armed robbery of Spanish and Portuguese journalists at a lodge north of Johannesburg on Wednesday.
South Africa, which has spent heavily on security, has been hoping the World Cup would boost its tourism sector and provide a jolt of pride for the continent but experts say persistent reports of crime could undermine those aspirations.
Greek team spokesman Michael Tsapidis said the players were not upset by the theft at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Durban and they were "extremely satisfied" with the way the hotel had responded to the incident.
"In our opinion this is not such a big deal. This incident is something that could happen anywhere in the world," he told a news conference.
The three Chinese journalists has been in the country for a few hours and were on their way to the main venue for the Cup in Soccer City on the edge of Soweto, a sprawling township outside of Johannesburg, the local paper Beeld reported citing various sources.
They stopped on the side of the road when gunmen approached and stole equipment from their vehicle, it said.
Chinese embassy officials confirmed the robbery but offered few details. South Africa police said the incident has not been officially reported and were looking into the case.
Petty theft is a fact of life in South Africa, a country of that averages 50 murders a day.
TOURISTS ROBBED AT WINE FARM
Police said a group of tourists from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Tanzania returned to their bus at a visit to a wine estate outside Cape Town to find nine passports, two digital cameras, a laptop and $500 cash missing. A case of theft had been opened, a statement said.
FIFA said on Thursday three arrests had been made for the armed robbery of Spanish and Portuguese journalists at a lodge in Magaliesburg, a sleepy, scenic town about an hour north of Johannesburg, and all the stolen property had been recovered.
The thieves made off with cameras, computers, credit cards and cash. The FIFA spokesman played down the incident, saying the soccer body's main concern was traffic chaos.
Police bolstered their presence in the Magaliesburg, where the Portugal squad base and police chief Bheki Cele visited the area on Thursday to express regret over the matter, a statement said.
"General Cele assured the group that all plans for a safe World Cup were still on track and he was confident that South Africans and fans alike will have a fantastic time over the next month," the statement said.
But travelling journalists including one held at gunpoint were angry at FIFA for not showing greater concern for their safety.
"It's just ridiculous, a total lack of respect for people who have come here to work, to show this country to the whole world," said photographer Antonio Simoes.
The raided hotel now has several police officers patrolling the grounds around the clock and almost all the other hotels have police or private security protecting journalists.
"FIFA saying it was more concerned with traffic than someone being attacked in a hotel room with a gun to their head does not dignify the institution and the organisation in any way," Paulo Guerrinha, a reporter for the Portuguese internet portal Sapo, told Reuters. "A situation like this cannot be devalued like it has been," he said.
(Additional reporting by Xola Potelwa, Agnieska Flak in Johannesburg, Wendell Roelf in Cape Town and Nick Mulvenney in Durban)
» » [Reuters India (PDF)]
» » [Reuters: Greek players, Chinese reporters robbed (PDF)]
» » [Reuters: SA Party but [Portugal/Spain Journo] Robbery Mars Mood (PDF)]
» » [Reuters: Photographer held at gunpoint as media hotel raided (PDF)]
» » [Reuters: Greece players have money stolen from Durban hotel (PDF)]
» » [Reuters: Armed robbers target Chinese journalists (PDF)]