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Table Mountain attacks: Tourism Minister slammed for “irresponsible” reaction

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Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has promised that a strategy is “being developed” to help combat crime against foreign visitors to South Africa – but the Tourism Minister has had a very tough time of things from the Freedom Front Plus (FF+), who have condemned her reaction to a spate of violent crimes.

As well as attacks in Johannesburg, a crime wave across the Table Mountain National Park has left local safety groups fuming. They are enraged by a lack of security groups who are meant to patrol the mountain, compromising the well-being of tourists who may become potential targets.

Tourism safety questioned after Table Mountain attacks

It’s estimated that 14 separate attacks have taken place on Table Mountain this year, with the death of Ukranian tourist sparking outrage at the end of July. Ivan Ivanov was attacked by three men and killed for the belongings in his rucksack. He was murdered while hiking at the popular East Fort above Chapman’s Peak.

Now, political parties are demanding more from the government. And although the minister told the media her department “is working together with the government and the South African Police Service in the strategy”, it’s simply a platitude to some.

FF+ not happy with Minister Kubayi-Ngubane

Michal Groenewald is the FF+ chief spokesperson on tourism. The MP has slammed Kubayi-Ngubane for trying to illustrate these crimes as “isolated incidents” when he feels that the issue deserves a little more gravitas. Groenewald is upset that the minister is allegedly pre-occupied by SA’s appearance in the international community.

“It is irresponsible of the Minister and the government to downplay crime as mere ‘isolated incidents’ while people are losing their lives. In the Western Cape, the situation is so critical that the defence force has to help the police to combat crime in the Cape Flats.”

“Now the Minister of Tourism apparently has to combat crime in the country’s parks. Crime is a very serious problem in South Africa. It must not be downplayed as ‘isolated incidents’ that, according to the Minister, paint South Africa negatively in the eyes of the international community.”

– Michal Groenewald

Travellers have also experienced problems getting to their destinations from OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg in recent years. Criminals have taken to following tourists and targeting for their possessions. The most recent case saw a criminal syndicate travel more than an hour when they followed and robbed guests destined for Centurion.

(Source: The South African)


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