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Plea for Tourism and Police clusters to protect Soweto businesses after Sakhumzi murder

Sakhumzi restaurant. Picture Credit: Neo Goba
Sakhumzi restaurant. Picture Credit: Neo Goba

Sakhumzi Restaurant in Soweto has appealed to the Department of Tourism as well as the security cluster to assist businesses in Soweto’s Vilakazi Street to help combat crime.

Addressing members of the media at the restaurant on Monday afternoon‚ marketing mananger Archie Tsoka said this would go along way to save businesses from being victims of crime.

“There should be a big discussion between businesses in Vilakazi Street‚ the police and we hope the Tourism Minister (Derek Hanekom) takes charge as well‚ because the safety of visitors in this street is important‚” said Tsoka.

“We believe that there could be a syndicate working on robbing these establishments and noticing that we’ve been very relaxed about security because we’ve never been a high security area‚” he elaborated.

His remarks come as three suspects are on the run in connection with the murder of a 60-year-old man at the restaurant‚ one of South Africa’s top tourist destinations‚ in the early hours of Sunday.

 The victim cannot be named as not all of his next of kin have been informed as yet.

The manager officially joined the restaurant in 2015 after a career teaching at Cofimvaba Primary School as well as the Daliwonga High School in Covimvaba‚ Eastern Cape.

Tsoka said he had no doubt that the motive behind the killing of the general manger was to rob the restaurant because they pretended to be normal customers.

According to Tsoka‚ the restaurant remains open as tourists have pre-booked the venue and they cannot turn them away as they have travelled far‚ from various parts of the world.

They also didn’t want to give in to criminals.

“If we shut down‚ we are sending the wrong signal that it’s not safe [so] that’s why I’m saying the Tourism Minister is our key partner to helping us to get the security cluster to act‚” he said‚ adding that this was not an African issue but globally too.

Sakhumzi has experienced two robberies since its existence‚ after a robbery in November last year when the culprits got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Police have called on the public to come forward with any information. Investigations continue.

According to police data‚ there were 6‚093 cases of crime in 2016 in the Orlando precinct where Sakhumzi is situated‚ up from 5‚177 in 2005.

Thirty seven murders were reported in the reporting year‚ compared with 26 cases in 2005.

Attempted murders totalled 59‚ up from 19 in 2005.

Robbery at non-residential premises has shot up from one to 58 cases in the same time period‚ while burglary at non-residential premises has also soared from 45 to 117.

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