A 67-year-old German tourist was killed in an attempted hijacking near the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga on Monday.
He was in the company of his wife and two other German tourists.
The fatal shooting has drawn attention to South Africa’s high levels of violent crime, as well as concerns about the country’s tourism industry.
Two days after the incident, the victim’s wife and the other two German tourists returned to Germany.
Attacks on tourists in South Africa have “occurred from time to time,” according to Dr Guy Lamb, a criminologist in the political science department at Stellenbosch University.
“Typically, tourists are the target of opportunistic crime such as street robberies, pickpocketing, and being scammed, but tourists from wealthy countries who stay in luxurious hotels or lodges aren’t often the targets of violent crime.”
He stated that violent attacks on tourists frequently make international headlines, such as the slaying of a Ukrainian tourist while hiking in Cape Town in 2019. That case drew a great deal of international attention.
Still, there has been less international attention in this case “because you have Russia’s war in Ukraine, the economic downturn, the effects of Covid, the cost of living increase, so many stories compete for the headline.”
Lamb believes that police should increase the number of informants in their communities “so that information and intelligence can be fed to them, and they can then infiltrate and arrest perpetrators.”
“Because this is organised crime, it’s easier to predict if you have good information.”