The explosion targeted a tourist bus and injured at least 16 people near the Grand Egyptian Museum, next to the pyramids in Giza. South African tourists were among the injured when the device detonated close to the museum fence as their bus passed by.
Anthony “Pat” Petersen, 72, a retired boilermaker, was among the 25 South Africans who went on a pilgrimage and tour of Egypt. He was concerned that Dirco had not provided any of them with counselling.
“I am very concerned that the government has not taken us seriously. People are still very shaken about the incident,’’ he said.
“The last place we visited was Egypt. We were so excited about going to see the pyramids. We were at least two minutes away when all of a sudden I heard a loud bang.”
He was fortunately not injured. However, his daughter and son-in-law were affected by the blast.
Petersen’s wife Shirley did not go on the trip and told the Daily News this week that her daughter and son-in-law, who did not want to be named, were sitting at the back of the bus.
“The glass shattered, wounding my daughter’s eye. My son-in-law’s tongue was cut by the glass. Both of them have still not returned to work.
“My daughter cannot see properly and has to regularly go to specialists. She’s visibly stressed and cannot see things for too long without her eye hurting,” she said.
Shirley added that there was no reason to expect such a disaster to occur as their church, Christ the King in Wentworth, Durban, regularly goes on pilgrimages.
The other parishioners on the trip were from Our Lady Star of the Sea eManzimtoti as well as St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Benoni, near Johannesburg.
Petersen felt that this was a terrorist attack. In December last year, a similar incident saw three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide killed and at least 10 other people injured when a roadside bomb blast hit their tour bus near the Giza pyramids.
Dirco, in a statement, said the May incident should not affect the travel plans of South Africans hoping to attend the Africa Cup of Nations, which will be hosted in Egypt later this month.
“We will definitely make sure that the victims are seen to as this is a very serious matter,” said spokesperson Clayson Monyela.