Four Chinese journalists robbed on Johannesburg street


Beijing : Four Chinese journalists covering the football World Cup in South Africa were robbed of a camera and cash on a Johannesburg street, a news report said Thursday.

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The four scribes were approached by a “several armed black people” after they pulled over to the side of the road en route to an interview in their rented car Wednesday, the Beijing News said.

The robbers pulled down a car window and demanded that the journalists open the door. They then made “serious threats” to the closest occupant of the car, taking his cash and a camera valued at about $1,500. None of the journalists was injured, the newspaper said.

The newspaper said it was investigating unconfirmed reports that another Beijing-based Chinese journalist had been robbed in South Africa.

“South Africa is not safe. This is already common knowledge for everyone,” it said.

News of the crime follows the robbery of three other foreign journalists – two Portuguese and one from Spain – Wednesday by armed men in their guest lodge.

One of the three journalists was forced at gunpoint to lie on the ground as the robbers ransacked the room at a holiday chalet in Magaliesburg, north-west of Johannesburg, police said.

Nobody was injured during the robbery, but the journalists’ cameras, laptops, cell phones, passports and items of clothing were all stolen, the police said.

Security has been one of the major topics ahead of the World Cup. There had been some doubts whether South African officials could guarantee the safety of visitors.