Hanekom calls for support of iconic Vilakazi Street following fatal shooting

Soweto

Cape Town - Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom said he was deeply saddened and disturbed when he heard of the fatal robbery at the popular Sakhumzi restaurant in Soweto at the weekend.

The 60-year-old manager the manager Kwezi Hudson of the Sakhumzi restaurant in Vilakazi Street, Soweto, was shot dead during an attempted robbery, police said. Two men entered the restaurant around 00:30 on Sunday morning, when the employees were closing up and allegedly shot Hudson after he refused them entry - see News24's report here.   

The incident came as a big shock to the Vilakazi Street community, as well as thee tourism industry as a whole.

Hanekom states the Department of Tourism would work together with provincial and local authorities, the community and businesses in the area to enhance safety in the vibrant precinct that has become an iconic magnate for tourists from across South Africa and the world.

"I would like to express my condolences to the family of Mr Kwezi Hudson on their loss, and to the owner Mr Sakhumzi Maqubela."

'Vilakazi Street has enormous significance for our country'

“Vilakazi Street has enormous significance for our country and for the world. The families of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu lived here. Vilakazi Street is the home of our liberation struggle leaders and Nobel Prize laureates.  

“It is essential that the community around Vilakazi Street, tourism business owners and our visitors are safe in this precinct.

“There can be no better tribute to those who have fallen victim to crime, and to all those who fought for our freedom, than to support the development and improvement of this area,” says Hanekom.

'No better tribute to victims' 

In recent years there has been a move to establish a number of regular events within the township that has played such a prolific part of South Africa's history. 

The Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival started to evolved into a weekend of fun, fashion, innovation, food and wine since 2005, establishing Soweto as a tourist destination and inspiring the launch of sister wine events in Gugulethu, KwaMashu and Mozambique. The next one will take place on 3 to 5 March, 2017.

This past December also saw the long overdue Abantu Book Festival held in Soweto, celebrating and featuring African authors. Meaning people, the Abantu Book Festival centres its vision on creating a vibrant culture of reading in Soweto. The festival is said to be the first of its kind and magnitude in South Africa, not just in terms of location but to centre black writers and readers.

What to read next on Traveller24:

City Sightseeing launches new route to Joburg's leafy suburbs

12 Meaningful ways to spend a year travelling 

17 Great adventures for creating some epic memories in 2017

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