Police have arrested a 26-year-old suspect and are questioning two others after 11 tourists were robbed at a community gardening project in Site C.
Police have arrested a 26-year-old suspect and are questioning two others after 11 tourists were robbed at a community gardening project in Site C.

Arrest made after robbery of tourists in Khayelitsha

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Jan 13, 2020

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Cape Town - Police have arrested a 26-year-old suspect and are questioning two others after 11 tourists were robbed at a community gardening project in Site C, Khayelitsha, on Friday.

On Saturday, the province’s police management ordered a 72-hour activation plan as Khayelitsha detectives got to work to find the suspects.

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said since the incident Khayelitsha detectives were following leads in an effort to apprehend the perpetrators.

“As the investigation unfolds it is expected that more arrests will be effected soon. The arrested suspect is expected to appear in court (today) on charges of robbery,” Potelwa said.

At the time of the incident, the tourists were visiting the Ikasi Project Green at Vuzamanzi Primary when five armed men made their way onto the school premises and ordered the victims into a vehicle and robbed them.

Xolisa Bangani, founder of Ikhaya Garden at Isikhokelo Primary School, also in Khayelitsha, said the robbery had a devastating effect on tourism in the area.

“Most tourists are now apprehensive about coming to Khayelitsha, resulting in a drastic reduction in the number of tourists visiting.

“The reason we did these kinds of movements of tourist attraction was to change the narrative about our community, while educating other young people to embark on different ways of generating income.

“This incident has been a setback to the amount of work done in trying to change the status quo of the community all these years,” Bangani said.

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato condemned the incident as a “selfish act”.

Plato said each instance of crime had a negative impact on job creation opportunities and limits communities who need employment and want to uplift themselves.

“I commend our city partners and officials for the swift activation of our ‘Band Aid’ programme for the tourists involved, which forms part of the travel-wise initiative.

“The programme aims to assist affected visitors with remedial support, replacing lost documents, providing transfers and accommodation where needed and helping them to open a case at the SAPS,” he said.

Mayco member for tourism James Vos said that extra tourism safety monitors and ambassadors were deployed to popular tourism areas across the city and “we hope these will have a tangible impact on the safety of tourists”.

Plato said the City would be deploying additional law enforcement officers. “I am positive that this will go a long way towards supporting the efforts to increase safety in the city,” he said.

@Mtuzeli

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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