US students robbed in Pretoria

2014-05-14 11:30

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Johannesburg - Several United States university students and their chaperones were robbed on a bus in Pretoria, police said on Wednesday.

Thirty students and five chaperones were robbed on the tour bus in Eeufees Road in Pretoria on Sunday morning, Brigadier Neville Malila said.

"The tour bus was stopped by four armed motorcyclists," Malila said.

The bus driver stopped the vehicle when one of the motorcyclists threatened him with a firearm.

The other three armed motorcyclists then got onto the bus and stole an undisclosed amount of US dollars and several cellphones from the students and chaperones, before fleeing the scene, Malila said.

No one was harmed in the robbery.

According to an online report by the Baltimore Sun, the students were from Stevenson University in Maryland in the US, and arrived in South Africa over the weekend to begin a five-week programme of study, work, and travel.

The university made the decision to cut the five-week tour short to ensure their well-being.

"The students are for the most part reluctant to come back," university spokesperson Glenda LeGendre told the newspaper on Monday.

US embassy spokesperson Jack Hillmeyer said the embassy was aware of the robbery but could not divulge specific details because of privacy regulations.

"We take the safety and security of Americans travelling overseas very seriously and we have extensive resources available to them," said Hillmeyer.

No arrests had been made and police were investigating, said Malila.

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