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Media Release: SANParks and SAPS Hot on the Heels Of Armed Robbers

31 May 2005

South African National Parks (SANParks) and the South African Police Services’ (SAPS) investigators are hot on the heels of a group of armed robbers that took money and valuables from visitors residing in the Mulawati Concession Area of the Kruger National Park (KNP) at around 01:00 on Saturday morning (May 28, 2005).

It is believed that four armed robbers overpowered the security guard at the privately managed camp. At least two of the suspects forcefully entered a unit within the camp and removed certain personal items of guests residing overnight. None of the residents staying in the camp were injured in any way during the incident.

The guard managed to contact the nearby sister lodge and the local KNP section rangers were alerted. After reporting the incident to SANParks Corporate Investigation Service (CIS) operators in Skukuza, the rangers drove towards the concession area.

Members of SANParks CIS and the SAPS flew to the scene in the SANParks helicopter. As soon as daylight broke, they began tracking the suspects and followed the trail to a nearby village, almost 30 kilometres away from the concession area.

Both the SAPS and SANParks CIS are busy investigating further leads picked up during the operation.

“Together with our colleagues in the SAPS, we vow to spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators to book in this regard,” said SANParks Chief Executive, Dr David Mabunda.

Three Cities Hospitality Group Managing Director, Mr. Alan Vels, said “this incident is completely isolated and we are in constant contact with the affected South African guests to ensure their continued well being as well as to keep them abreast of developments in the investigation”.

Vels went on to say that “having operated in the Kruger National Park for three years this is the first such incident and we will work closely with SANParks and the SAPS to ensure that this type of incident does not occur again in any of the camps in the park. We will continue to offer the level of hospitality these private camps have become renowned for”.

… Ends…

Issued by: South African National Parks

Wanda Mkutshulwa,
Head of Communications: South African National Parks
Contact: Tel: 012 426 5201, cell: 082 908 2692 or E-mail

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