Wartburger Hof sold

2008-02-07 00:00

The Wartburger Hof has been sold to a large hotel group, which has promised not to change its unique character.

Chris Schädle, son of previous owners, Siggy and Ingrid, who were gunned down there on November 7 last year, said this week that he feels emotional about the sale. The deal was brokered by his parents before their death, in October last year, he said.

"It’s been 17 years of my life and my parents’ lives, but I know it was the right thing to do, so, yes, I have mixed feelings about the sale."

Schädle is helping out at the hotel, now known as the Orion Hotel Wartburg, but is determined to begin a campaign against crime levels in the country soon. "I will be here for another month, and have made no hard and fast plans yet on what I will do, but I have a lot of ideas. I have been busy tying up loose ends, but will now have time to devote to making people more aware of crime levels here."

He said that his campaign will take the form of talks and that he plans to involve the media.

Schädle said he felt it is important to mobilise government into controlling crime and that this may be best achieved by exposing crime levels in South Africa internationally.

He said he will not move too far away from the area, though.

Schädle said that he will attend the upcoming court appearance of the accused in his parents’ murder.

"I didn’t go to their previous appearance, but I feel that I must be there this time," he said.

Meanwhile, Adriaan du Plessis, the hotel operations manager for the Orion Group, told The Witness that despite the tragedy, they believe in the area.

"We live in a tragic environment, but it is a beautiful hotel with much community involvement and we have offered all staff the possibility of employment here."

He said the hotel will continue to be marketed to international tourists and that minor changes would be effected in line with the group’s operation requirements.

"But we will keep intact all the little things that make the hotel special."

The group officially took over at the beginning of February.

stephs@witness.co.za

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