Justice: Start of the process after the death of a German in South Africa

After the death of a tourist from Fulda in a robbery in South Africa, the trial of three suspects is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

Justice: Start of the process after the death of a German in South Africa

After the death of a tourist from Fulda in a robbery in South Africa, the trial of three suspects is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. The men, aged between 25 and 38, are charged with murder, attempted murder and attempted kidnapping in the district court in the small town of Kabokweni in the northeast of the country.

On October 3, they are said to have attacked the 67-year-old and three other Germans on their way to a safari lodge in the famous Kruger National Park in the north-east of the country. When the tourists refused to get out of the car and locked the doors shortly before the Numbi entrance to the national park, one of the perpetrators opened fire on the driver of the car, according to the police. The 67-year-old died.

At bail hearings in late 2022, the prime suspect was denied bail. Another suspect was in possession of the car used during the robbery, police said. It was initially unclear what role the third man presumably played. At times, the police had also spoken of a fourth suspect arrested. Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu urged the police to "make every effort to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice".

The country at the southern tip of Africa with its 60 million inhabitants suffers from a high crime rate. According to government figures, between the beginning of July and the end of September alone, more than 7,000 people were killed and 6,000 cases of car hijacking were reported. Overall, the number of murders and robberies rose in 2022. The Federal Foreign Office in Berlin warns against resisting robberies, as the perpetrators are usually armed.

The road leading to the Numbi entrance was known as a crime hotspot, said Ike Phaahla, spokesman for the national park authority SANParks, the German press agency. According to Phaahla, two German tourists were attacked on the street last March. Two months earlier, perpetrators shot a mother and her two children during a failed robbery. Since the German's death, SANParks has been working with the police, private security companies and representatives of the surrounding community to make the road safer, Phaahla said.

South Africa is one of the most famous safari destinations in Africa. Before the corona pandemic, almost 16 million foreign tourists visited the country every year, with most visitors coming from the USA, England and Germany, according to government statistics. The Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings flies three times a week directly from Frankfurt to the small town of Mbombela, which is next to the Kruger National Park. The operator of a guest house in Mbombela, who did not want to be named, told the German Press Agency that she is now advising all tourists to use other entrances to the Kruger Park: "We expressly warn all our guests about the area around it Numbi Gate."

Crime Statistics South Africa Tourism Statistics South Africa

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