The wife of German tourist Joerg Schnarr, who was murdered on Numbi road outside the Kruger National Park on Monday, said she was upset about the manner in which the matter was reported in German media because her children had not been informed their father had died.
Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said when the message was conveyed to them, it was not done in a manner she would have approved of and as a result, the children were more traumatised than the wife who witnessed her husband’s killing.
To set the record straight, the wife told her version of events and asked that German media report accurately.
On Monday, 67-year-old Schnarr and three other people were travelling to Mdluli Safari Lodge when they were attacked by a group of criminals.
Speaking at OR Tambo International Airport, Sisulu said that her department and the SA Tourism Board had seen the family off. She added that while the processing of the corpse was done, the body could not be taken immediately because of regulations. The body will be sent to the deceased’s family on Thursday.
“So we spent the whole day with the South African Tourism board, with the family to try to get to the bottom of what happened, so we can explain to South Africa what happened. For us, every death is important and I do know that during the day, there had been complaints from the South African population that there are deaths in the country on a regular basis – why would the death of a white tourist take up so much of our time.”
“I’m a Minister of Tourism, the safety of tourists is my responsibility. We encourage people all over the world to come to South Africa because we think we are the best country and we tell them that we are a safe place and we need to live up to that promise.”
“South Africa is indeed a safe place. So far, since the dawn of democracy – only three tourists have died in South Africa,” said Sisulu.
The German tourists arrived in the country on 20 September 2022 and landed at the Cape Town International Airport. They stayed in Cape Town for 4 nights and 5 days, then proceeded to Durban and stayed there for 4 days and 3 nights.
From Durban, they travelled to Drakensberg and stayed there for 2 nights, and then on Monday, 03 October 2022, drove over 600km to Mpumalanga.
“I want to assure all tourists that the Tourism Department will continue its efforts within Government to ensure tourists’ safety in the area. The attack on tourists is not a daily occurrence in the country, but it is one incident too many,” concluded Sisulu.
Meanwhile, three suspects have been arrested, police ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba confirmed on Wednesday.