BY GRAEME HOSKEN
Dozens of elderly Dutch tourists‚ who had just arrived at OR Tambo International Airport for a three-week holiday‚ were attacked by armed robbers posing as police.
The 36 tourists‚ according to the Dutch newspaper Telegraaf‚ are all in their 70s.
They were attacked on Sunday night near Fourways in the north of Johannesburg after the five suspects apparently followed them from the airport.
The Telegraaf has described the tourists’ “hell” at the hands of the robbers‚ who forced the bus to a stop before making their way into the vehicle and assaulting some of the tourists.
A passenger told the Dutch newspaper that “it was hell”.
“Most of the passengers are 70-plus. People panicked and even got firearms aimed at them. In two cases‚ the trigger was pulled but the gun didn’t fire.”
According to the passenger‚ several of the tourists were punched.
“The suitcases were also taken out of the cargo area. They were busy for 20 minutes. People cried and are in shock. They took the keys from the bus and disappeared.”
The bus driver and tour guide were tied up during the robbery.
After the robbers left‚ passengers freed them‚ said the passenger. The driver had a spare key in the cargo area‚ which he retrieved and drove the tourists to their hotel.
“We are safe now. But we are in shock and want to go back. We just landed for a 22-day trip‚ but the fun has gone”‚ the passenger said to the newspaper.
Police spokesman Brigadier Vish Naidoo said one of the suspects was reportedly dressed in a police uniform.
He said at this stage it was still unclear if the suspects had followed the tourists from the airport or if they were legitimate police officers.