Please find attached a soundbite by Manny de Freitas MP.
The shooting of a German tourist in White River in Mpumalanga on Monday highlights what the DA has been warning about all along; that the SAPS must prioritise the safety and security of tourists, as a single criminal incident can have devestating repercussions on international tourism.
I call on the ministers of Police and Tourism to announce their plans to police and protect tourist areas in the country. These ministers must ensure South Africans that they are doing everything in their power to prevent a repeat of this tragic incident and that the criminslas will be caught and apprehended as soon as possible.
The death of the German tourist has made front-page news in Germany and will no doubt cause a dip in tourism from Germany, which is one of our major tourism markets.
The fact that there is a lack of security and police presence in the area is particularly concerning when one takes into account that there has been unrest, barricading of Kruger National Park (KNP) gates and protest action in the area and throughout the park in the last four weeks.
Information that I received from the ground is that there has been no, or very little, police presence during the protests and unrest action.
There is no doubt that the SAPS are aware that this is a high crime area, considering that this incident is the latest of many similar incidents on this particular road; the road leading to Numbi Gate. A previous incident occurred in January when a family from Pretoria was involved in an attempted hijacking incident.
In addition, it is traditionally peak period for international tourists to visit Mpumalanga and the Kruger National Park from now until November every year. The fact that the Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (KLCBT) has had to step in to assist in the protection of tourists and the combatting of crime is an inditement on the police and their inability to fulfil their basic mandate in the area.