The latest developments in the murder investigation of a German national, shot and killed close to the Kruger National Park, have been optimistically welcomed by the Police Ministry.
The 67 year old German national was shot and killed this week, on Numbi Road near the Numbi gate of the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga.
Police in the province have identified and taken in three people for questioning regarding the murder of the tourist, who was driving in a vehicle ferrying three other passengers, heading towards the national park.
The trio who are in police custody are said to be cooperating with investigators.
Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele and the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola together with the Mpumalanga Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Daphney Manamela and Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC, Vusi Shongwe on Wednesday 05 October 2022, visited the scene of the fatal Monday afternoon shooting.
The Minister told reporters gathered at the scene that police are following up on good leads.
“The tourism sector is highly contested and is the bread and butter of millions of households in this province and other parts of the country, this is why it must be guarded jealously by all of us including communities and we simply cannot let such callous acts go unpunished. This is why it is highly encouraging to see police in this province move with agility to find those responsible for this crime.”
Cele also added that a long term solution is needed to safeguard communities and tourists alike, he has committed to engaging his cabinet colleagues responsible for tourism and transport to put in place a joint coordinated response againts tourists.
The response should be both reactive and proactive and bring together national and local government and both public and private tourism role players to urgently combine resources and efforts to deal with causative factors of some of these crimes taking place in and around the Masoyi policing area.
This province recorded eleven common robbery incidents involving tourists, from April to June 2022. Police have arrested two people for their alleged involvement in some of the crimes and the suspects are currently going through court processes.
“Police have a duty towards all inhabitants of this country and must make arrests, as part of crime prevention, the tourism sector also has a responsibility to empower their clients with information and knowledge about their surroundings, so they are not easily targeted for their valuables. We have no doubt if this approach is widely adopted, it will go along way in ensuring the space for these criminals targeting visitors to our shores is squeezed and ultimately shut”
While police continue to follow up closely on strong leads in the murder investigation, the Ministry calls on the SAPS to speedily make arrests in order to restore public confidence and ensure the law takes its course.