Cops could have caught lodge robbers - manager

2013-10-03 14:33
Some of the rondavels at Aan de Vliet lodge. (Facebook)

Some of the rondavels at Aan de Vliet lodge. (Facebook)

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Hazyview - Had police acted swiftly, they would have caught the three men who robbed a group of schoolchildren and their teachers at a Hazyview lodge on Thursday, the lodge's manager said.

"The police responded soon with our private security, which we mostly rely on, but when [they] got here they kept on taking statements. We hoped when the dog unit arrived they would set the dogs on trails, but they didn't," Aan de Vliet Resort manager Christo du Plessis told a Sapa correspondent.

Police spokesperson Colonel Leonard Hlathi said the armed robbers entered the lodge shortly after midnight and said they did not want to hurt anyone. They demanded that the teachers and children hand over their belongings.

Ten teachers and 108 children from Hennopspark Primary School in Pretoria were on a school tour and arrived at the lodge on Wednesday afternoon. The robbers made off with 14 cellphones, money, an iPad, laptop, and jewellery. No one was hurt.

Du Plessis said crime against lodges and resorts was rife.

"Here, we rely mostly on private security and we were just caught off guard. They struck while we were just about to install cameras," he said.

The children's trip was cut short and they were on their way home.

The school's spokesperson Anne Alkema said the children, aged between 11 and 13, were in shock and would receive counselling. The parents had been informed.

School principal Jannie Raath said the school was grateful no one had been harmed.

Hazyview Democratic Alliance councillor Ken Robertson said crime in the area was out of control.

“The Hazyview area has been a violent crime hotspot for a number of years, and government and the police have to take the situation more seriously to prevent the total collapse of Mpumalanga's hub of international tourism attraction and agricultural production,” he said in a statement.
Read more on:    mbombela

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