Durban - A weekend trip to Durban has left a bitter taste for two US tourists who have vowed never to visit again.
Peter Livingston, 71, and George Eighmey, 81, were robbed in broad daylight on Sunday in the Durban CBD while taking in the sights.
Speaking to IOL, Livingston said they had arrived in South Africa in December and decided to visit Durban for the weekend.
They had been staying at an Airbnb on the beachfront.
“We decided to walk to the Botanical Gardens and hoped to see some of downtown Durban as well.
“On our return, as we were walking on Xuma Street, just west of the Workshop Shopping Centre, near an area filled with minivan taxis, we were assaulted in broad daylight, by eight or nine young men.
“They forced us to the ground and stole our cellphones and billfolds.
“They sat or stood on my friend’s legs and arms to prevent resistance,” said Livingston.
“They literally tore my pants open struggling for my phone.”
He said the incident occurred in front of numerous street vendors and a lot of other pedestrians.
“There were two police officers across the street. We shouted for help, but no one did anything.”
He said that thankfully, they did not require any medical attention.
When asked if anyone had advised them about safety issues, Livingston said no one had.
He said they were staying in Cape Town for two months.
“Our trip to Durban was for the weekend.”
Livingston said they did not report the matter to the police.
“We don’t know how to make a report and the indifference of the police at the scene did not inspire confidence.
“Needless to say, this will be our last trip to Durban. We will advise our friends not to come here either. It is too unsafe.”
On Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele painted a grim picture of the country’s crime statistics from October to December, with most crimes of the increase.
In KZN, all major crime categories saw increases, with murder up by 8.3%, rape 13.3% and hijackings 19.8%.