Jet Booking Direct announced today that as a result of high demand from frightened passengers, it has taken on board the services of a South African security firm to ensure the total safety of all its passengers wishing to enjoy the South African World Cup without fear of robbery and violence. South Africa’s violent crime rate – for rape, aggravated robbery, and murder – is among the highest in the world.
Passengers’ fears are not groundless. Three foreign journalists were robbed last Tuesday night near the Portuguese team’s base camp north of Johannesburg. Initial reports of the robbery of the journalists indicate that thieves broke into their rooms at the four-star Nutbush Boma Lodge near Magaliesburg at around 4 a.m., while the journalists were asleep. The robbers held their victims at gunpoint, and stole cameras, passports, and cash.
Several Chinese nationals were robbed in Johannesburg, South Africa, in recent days, according to the Web sites of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Even players are not safe from the spate of crime, as three Greek players claimed that their money was stolen from inside their hotel guest rooms. South African police Lt. Col. Leon Engelbrecht confirmed the theft took place at the Umhlanga Rocks beach resort last Tuesday. The crime is especially notable given the up market nature of the place, and the thieves’ brazenness in penetrating such a location.
Despite the celebration of South Africa as the chosen host of one of the world’s largest sports events, the country is notorious for its high violent crime rate. With multiple assault and robbery cases filed daily, the rampant crime rate only reminds tourists of the danger they face while in the state.
Steve Blight, Director of Jet Booking Direct, said: “We don’t think it is good enough for the South African authorities and FIFA to brush security threats under the carpet. Apart from the well-reported violent robberies mentioned above the LBC 97.3 (London radio station) sports reporter was robbed in his Hotel room the night he arrived. We have taken on the services of the top security company in South Africa to ensure the safety of our clients. They will be taken from the aircraft to their hotels by specially trained security personnel skilled in evasive driving and getaway techniques. They will also be taken to and from the football games by the same experienced and armed teams. We are taking nothing to chance.”
“We provide our clients with a door to door experience managed by us at all times. They do not get any unpleasant surprises, in the case of The World Cup it is our duty to make sure that our clients are protected from the attentions of thieves and muggers attracted to robbing visitors.”
“It does South Africa no good for their authorities to play down the dangers. Forewarned is forearmed and we will take all precautions necessary to ensure the safety of our clients.”