Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Bongani Shilubane
Johannesburg - South Africa's police minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday that he has instructed the police to investigate the robbery of 36 Dutch tourists who were robbed while travelling from OR Tambo International Airport to Fourways on a Megabus.

This comes after a tour group of 36 Dutch, mainly elderly, tourists was allegedly followed from the airport, held up by armed men dressed as policemen, taken hostage, beaten and driven to a quiet spot where they were subsequently robbed of all their valuables, money and luggage.

The tourists were travelling on a Megabus when it was allegedly stopped by a South African Police Services (SAPS) marked vehicle, with one man dressed in a police uniform while five others were in civilian clothing.

The men allegedly demanded their possessions and one of the tourists was injured and taken to hospital.

In a statement, Mbalula c ondemned the robbery on the foreign tourists, saying that he viewed it as an attack to the tourism industry and the economy.

" I condemn this robbery in the strongest terms and call for harsh punishment on those responsible. T ourism is part of our economic drivers and provider of jobs for the youth, we must work hard in protecting this industry. Part of this is ensuring that our tourist not only feel safe but are safe in our country," Mbalula said.

He said that he has been assured that detectives were working with SA National Roads Agency Limited and other agencies that may assist the investigation to bring those responsible to book.

"The OR Tambo International Airport is our national key point. We have done a lot of work to improve its safety and capacitate it to respond fast and effectively to safety concerns," Mbalula said.

"More has been done since, in preventing and combating criminal activities at the airport. The robbery in and around the OR Tambo International Airport is being investigated."

Mbalula will on Tuesday afternoon visit the tourists at their lodge his office said.

African News Agency