Tourist: Clean up beachfront or lose out

2008-06-19 00:00

Clean up the Durban beachfront or lose international tourists.

This is according to Dr Sergey Krasnoschekov, a Russian national and Comrades Marathon team manager who was attacked and robbed outside a hotel on the Durban beachfront.

Krasnoschekov told The Witness that he was taking a walk along the promenade when he was approached by two men who demanded money and his iPod music player.

“I saw two men walk towards me. They looked very suspicious so I carried on walking until the younger one grabbed me from the back,” he said.

He said the teenager threatened to kill him if he did not hand his money to him.

“I told him I did not have any money on me as I had left my wallet at the hotel. He attacked me and pinned me to the ground, I refused to give in and fought back.”

Krasnoschekov said that his retaliation had probably saved his life because the suspect just grabbed his iPod and a fake diamond earring and escaped.

A shaken and bruised Krasnoschekov then ran back to the Elangeni hotel where he told security and staff about the incident.

“They were so helpful and immediately took me to the police station. This is where I reported the crime, however, police there were very slow,” he said.

They decided to try another police station.

“At the second police station, they were very helpful and started a search for the suspects. Two hours later, the men were caught,” he added.

Krasnoschekov expressed his gratitude to staff and police who helped during the ordeal.

This is his twelfth visit to South Africa and while he is still a bit shaken after the attack, Krasnoschekov said it would not stop him from visiting the country again.

“Of course, I will be back. It’s just rubbish to stay away, however, something needs to be done about vagrants on the beachfront,” he said.

Krasnoschekov said the city should upgrade security or risk losing international tourists.

“All the vagrants and street children should be taken away. The beachfront is a beautiful area, but is being spoilt by criminals,” he said.

Police spokesman Inspector Michael Read confirmed the arrests.

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