Suspects arrested for robbery on foreign journalists

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pretoria - Less than a day after international journalists were robbed, police have tracked down and arrested the suspects.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Sally de Beer said local police, detectives and intelligence joined forces and after following up on several leads arrested four suspects, three on Wednesday evening and another on Thursday morning.

Police also recovered some of the items stolen from the Portuguese and Spanish journalists.
The three suspects are expected to appear in court soon.

The three journalists were robbed of their belongings while sleeping at the Nutbush Homa Lodge in Magaliesburg, early on Wednesday.

National Police Commissioner, General Bheki Cele, praised the police officers who worked tirelessly to investigate the case.

"I want to personally congratulate the police team on this sterling effort which should reassure the foreign media contingent that the police of this country are determined to create a safe environment for the 2010 FIFA World Cup."

He said while it was unfortunate that foreign visitors had to endure the experience, they could take heart from the swift reaction of the country's police and enjoy the rest of their stay in the country.

Meanwhile, Mogale City's executive mayor Koketso Seerane condemned the robbery, describing it as "a barbaric act."

He vowed that the city's residents would work with police to see justice done. "We are committed in ensuring that our visitors enjoy their stay in Mogale City and that they visit us again after the World Cup. We express our sympathy and support to the victims of this robbery," Seerane said.

He added that the city was abuzz with activity and people were working around the clock to ensure that the Portuguese and Australian teams, both of whom chose Mogale City as they base, were happy and safe during their stay.