Despite several warnings from the FF Plus to Mpumalanga’s Department of Community Safety, a Canadian father and his two teenage sons were recently kidnapped and robbed in Mbombela (Nelspruit).
Last year, the FF Plus repeatedly voiced its concern about the safety of tourists on the R104 road in the Provincial Legislature and warned that security in the area should be intensified, especially over the festive season.
Those warnings clearly fell on deaf ears, though.
This road, which runs from the N4 through Nelspruit, is the main route to Mozambique and the Kruger National Park.
Four suspects in a Ford Ranger with blue lights who pretended to be police officers stopped the tourists’ vehicle near the Magistrate’s Court in Nelspruit, kidnapped them and forced them to withdraw large amounts of money from their bank accounts.
The suspects are still at large.
According to a statement by the Department of Community Safety, it is the modus operandi of a syndicate operating in the province.
Mpumalanga is a popular tourist destination and the tourism industry makes a significant contribution to the province’s economy. Incidents such as these will deliver a severe blow to the industry through deterring tourists from visiting the province.
Motorists are urged not to stop for any unmarked vehicles, especially at night, but to drive to the nearest police station.