'Robberies damaging tourism'

THE armed robbery of South African tourists in Mozambique at the weekend is damaging to the country's tourism industry, the resort company concerned said yesterday.

THE armed robbery of South African tourists in Mozambique at the weekend is damaging to the country's tourism industry, the resort company concerned said yesterday.

"From a tourism point of view the incident is certainly a massive blot on the authorities' ability to protect tourists, and certainly a disincentive to invest or promote Mozambique as a tourist destination," Zamque Limitado said.

Zamque owns the Morrumbene Holiday Resort in the Inhambane province in southern Mozambique, where South African Leon Scott, his family and others were robbed on Sunday morning.

"The occupants of the two chalets were held up at gunpoint, tied up with strapping and robbed of their valuables including jewellery, cellphones computers and cash."

Zamque confirmed that the robbers knew their way around.

"The perpetrators clearly had an understanding of the layout of the resort."

They fled with another South African couple's Toyota Land Cruiser, which was later found abandoned in a ditch.

The police high commissioner and local police head were investigating the incident.

"(It) seems to be linked to various other incidents over the past few weeks in which South African tourists appear to have been targeted and robbed, and in some cases raped at gunpoint," Zamque said.

Mozambican authorities held a meeting with tour operators in Inhambane yesterday to discuss safety measures. - Sapa

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