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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Police leadership to visit German tourist murder scene

The murder of the German tourist is expected to deliver a blow to the tourism industry.

As the South African Police Service (SAPS) intensifies its investigation into the fatal shooting of a German tourist, Police Minister, General Bheki Cele, and National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola, are expected to visit Mpumalanga on Wednesday.

The incident, which is likely to deliver a blow to the tourism industry, happened on Monday afternoon on Numbi Road near White River outside the Kruger National Park.

Police Ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said the visit to the province by Cele and Masemola will include a site visit to the crime scene.

The attack

Police said a group of four German tourists were travelling on Numbi Road on the way to Mdluli Safari lodge when they were attacked by a group of criminals in an apparent botched hijacking.

ALSO READ: LISTEN: Attack on Kruger Park tourists tantamount to ‘economic sabotage’

The suspects are said to have instructed the tourists to open the doors of their vehicle, but when the driver reportedly locked all the doors, one of the suspects shot him in the upper body through the window.

Joerg Schnarr succumbed to his injuries, while his wife and a couple they were travelling with survived the attack.

German embassy in SA

On Tuesday, the German embassy in South Africa’s spokesperson told The Citzen they were working with police in their investigations to bring the perpetrators to book.

“We are in close contact with the South African authorities and we are doing everything that we can to assist them and to help with the investigation.”

Notorious Numbi gate

Meanwhile, calls are mounting to close the Numbi Gate into South African National Parks’ (SANParks) Kruger National Park (KNP) following the murder.

Simone Swiel on SANParks’ Kruger Facebook page questioned why is there no warning on the SANParks website.

“How many more tourists are going to be robbed and possibly killed as happened [on Monday]?”

SANParks spokesperson Ike Phaahla said tourists had been advised to plan their trips carefully, to only make stops at designated areas, such as garages and service stations, to try to travel in convoys, and where possible, use alternative gates.

ALSO READ: Safety for tourists must be priority

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Bheki Cele German Kruger National Park (KNP)