A family of three Dutch tourists were hijacked near their home on Monday night. They were later rescued by foresters where they wandered in a plantation between Sabie and Hazyview.
The foresters were setting fire to the plantation around 10 pm when they came across the man, woman and their young adult son.
One forestry investigator who was at the scene says the three were hijacked near their holiday home in Hazyview by two men with a handgun.
The boy was forced into the attackers’ Polo, while one of the attackers was driving the family’s rental car. He was dropped off at the Kiepersol turnoff and his parents in the plantation.
The tourists’ rental vehicle was found not far from there, with the car doors open and the key thrown away.
The officer says the hijackers focused on stealing their equipment, such as bank cards, and asked for their PINs. Someone who later helped them on the scene lent them his phone to stop their cards in the Netherlands.
“They were severely traumatized,” he said.
He added that Sabie police only arrived at the scene about two hours later. Security actors, including Hi-Tech Security and Phoenix Security, secured the scene, but police have trampled the scene.
They also did not have a fingerprint kit with them and returned to the station to arrange one. However, they returned two hours later and, with gloves on, drove the vehicle back to Sabie.
Provincial Police Chief, Brig. Leonard Hlathi, did not respond to allegations or inquiries about the incident at press time.
However, this is the number of attacks on tourists in the area in recent weeks and police suspect it is driven by a syndicate.
Hlathi has previously called on the public to share information with police. “How do they know how to target tourists? Someone needs to know something. ”
Tom Vorster from Kruger Lowveld Tourism told Lowveld that no one was injured and the family went on their journey.
He added that KLT had a meeting with SAPS the next day to discuss the incidents with tourists.