- A German tourist was shot dead in Mpumalanga on Monday.
- He was one of four tourists who were travelling to a lodge when they were accosted by a group of armed men.
- After the shooting, the car reversed and crashed into a school wall.
A group of German tourists' trip to Mpumalanga turned tragic when one of them was shot dead by armed men.
Police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, said the four tourists were accosted by armed men in a VW Caddy on Monday afternoon. He said the tourists were travelling in a Hyundai H1 on Numbi Road in White River, and were en route to Numbi Gate at Mdluli Safari Lodge.
The attackers instructed the tourists to open the vehicle doors. The driver instead locked all the doors and was shot in the upper body through the window.
How safe is your neighbourhood? Find out by using News24's CrimeCheck
Mohlala said the tourists' car reversed about 100 metres before crashing into a school wall.
"Unfortunately, the driver died on the spot as a result of the shooting. The suspects reportedly sped off in their vehicle without taking anything from the tourists."
Mohlala said police were investigating a case of murder.
Mpumalanga police commissioner, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, condemned the attack.
"This is really cruel and uncalled for, given the economic challenges that our country is facing. When one has tourists, it means the tourism sector is benefitting in a way, which in turn gives a boost to our struggling economy.
"We call on our good citizens who might have seen or heard anything about these criminals or the VW Caddy they were driving to come forward, and we promise to swiftly act so that they are brought to justice."
The tourism sector has also condemned the murder. In a statement, South African Tourism and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) said crime was one of the top concerns for tourists planning to come to the country.
"We wish to express our sympathy and extend our support to the family and friends who have had such a devastating experience in our country. South Africans are welcoming people, and this criminal behaviour is inconsistent with our warm and welcoming spirit, which is our innate way of life.
South African Tourism acting CEO Themba Khumalo said:
"Violence against tourists is equivalent to economic crimes such as stealing copper cables and gold, and something must be done urgently," TBCSA's Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said.
The two organisations said they would meet the security cluster to discuss the safety of tourists before the festive season.
Mohlala urged anyone with information to contact the Crime Stop number 08600 10111 or provide information on the My SAPS app. He said all information received would be treated as confidential, and that callers may remain anonymous.