Friday, October 30, 2009

'Murders will harm 2010 tourism'

2009-10-30 16:00
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Mystery over guesthouse killings

Tshwarelo eseng Mogakane

Mbombela - Mpumalanga's tourism MEC has said the murder of a well-known couple who owned an award-winning restaurant outside Sabie could spark fears about the safety of hosting the 2010 World Cup in the province.

Department of economic development, environment and tourism MEC Jabu Mahlangu labelled the double murder "shocking and cruel" and lamented that it took place "while the world is watching us".

"Tourism is our goldmine in this province, and such barbaric acts could deter people from visiting us. And here we are one of the host cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” he said on Friday.

"This could make potential visitors think twice before using our facilities. We cannot accept this to continue. We hope that the police will leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators to book," said Mahlangu.

The MEC said everyone had a right to life and that "no one has a licence to take it".

"We condemn the murder in the strongest possible terms and I send our condolences to the family, relatives and friends of the Steyn couple," said Mahlangu.

Leon and Hetta Steyn were shot with an R5 rifle shortly before 07:00 on Thursday morning in their guesthouse at the disused Hendriksdal Railway Station near Sabie. Next to their house was their well-known restaurant, The Artist's Café, which was highly popular among locals as well as foreign visitors.

Sabie police said the motive appeared to be robbery because the house had been somewhat ransacked, but the robbers fled before they could take anything because they were disturbed by neighbours who came to investigate immediately after hearing the shots.

Acting provincial police commissioner Rex Machabi's spokesperson, Captain Leonard Hlathi, said the case had now been transferred to the Mpumalanga Organised Crime Unit in Nelspruit.

"No person has been arrested yet. We are also appealing to the community to assist the police in tracing down these cold-blooded killers," said Hlathi.

- News24

Comments by Sonny

The R5's connections?

State issued assault weapons.

Sounds like the Third Force was in the area.

Systematic takeover of white businesses in SA.

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