Police in the North West have heightened visibility and patrols following two incidents where buses transporting foreign tourists were attacked in the province.
Colonel Adéle Myburgh, provincial police spokesperson in North West told the publiication that they are probing the two incidents were buses ferrying tourists were attacked by robbers.
“We can confirm that the (second) incident did occur on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at about 6.15 in the morning,” said Myburgh.
“Eleven tourists were in a tour bus, a Toyota Quantum, on the R556, in the Mooinooi area, when their bus was allegedly stopped and the tourists robbed of their personal property and cash by four armed suspects,” she said.
Myburgh said the 11 tourists were six Germans, two Polish, two British, and an American citizen.
No injuries were reported.
“Our detectives in the district are working around the clock to identify the suspects,” said Myburgh.
“Proactively, the (SA Police Service) Flying Squad and Highway Patrol members constantly patrol R566 Road and N4 to heighten visibility.”
In the other incident, Myburgh told the publication that an attempted hijacking was reported on November 24, 2023 in the afternoon.
The incident happened close to Marikana, involving a bus carrying tourists from Australia.
“A 60-seater bus was allegedly travelling near Lekgalang village on the R556. They were approached by suspects in a vehicle and threatened with a firearm,” said Myburgh.
The driver kept driving, and shots were fired towards the bus.
“The driver kept on driving until they reached Sun City police station. The suspects fled.”
Police said no person was injured during that attack. No property was stolen.
Last year, the publication reported that four German tourists travelling in a Hyundai Staria in Mpumalanga were stopped by three armed suspects and the driver was fatally shot through the window, on October 3.
At the time, police at Masoyi in Mpumalanga launched an extensive investigating after the incident in which the German tourist, Jörg Schnarr, was shot and killed by a group of “ruthless criminals” while driving to the Kruger National Park using the Numbi Road.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the tourists were travelling in a Hyundai Staria when the “terrible incident” happened.
“Four tourists from Germany were travelling in a Hyundai on Numbi Road en route to Numbi Gate at Mdluli Safari lodge. They were then stopped by three armed suspects who were driving in a Volkswagen Caddy,” Mohlala said at the time.
“The suspects are said to have instructed the tourists to open the doors of their vehicle but when the driver reportedly locked all the doors, apparently one of the suspects shot him in the upper body through the window.”
It is further said that the victims’ vehicle, the Hyundai Staria, drove in reverse for about 100 metres before crashing into the wall of Heroes Academy, an educational institution.
“Unfortunately, the driver died on the spot as a result of the shooting. The suspects reportedly sped off in their vehicle without taking anything from the tourists,” said Mohlala.
Three men, Napoleon Joseph Nyalunga, 35, Marshall Cebo Mamba, 38, and Bongumusa Fortune Matsane, 25, have appeared in court, accused of the murder of Schnarr.
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