Elderly couple beaten, Addo game lodges hit in robberies
Four robbers, armed with guns and knives, held two staff members from a luxury Addo game lodge hostage during a robbery on Thursday night.
None of the guests were robbed during the attack at the lodge, which is situated about 5km from the R336.
However, less than 30 minutes later and only 50km away - a couple were attacked and beaten during another robbery.
Police spokesperson Captain Gerda Swart said a team of detectives and officials attached to the Uitenhage operational command centre had been sent to the scene to gather evidence.
The gang gained entry to the game farm by scaling a perimeter fence before entering the office administration area at about 10.10pm.
“The men entered the admin block and went to the office, where the 41-year-old chef was working.
“They overpowered and threatened him before tying him up. The robbers stole an undisclosed amount of petty cash and a television from the office,” Swart said.
“The men left the chef in the office and went to the manageress's bedroom which is situated nearby.”
According to Swart, the suspects assaulted the woman while demanding her to disclose the location of the safe.
“When no safe could be found, the suspects took some of her personal belongings, which included jewellery, and fled on foot,” she said.
Swart said police were alerted a short while later, but a search for the suspects was unsuccessful.
Both the manageress and chef were traumatised from the attack.
Acting Uitenhage cluster commander Brigadier Ronald Koll said he was concerned over the increase in business robberies in the Addo area in recent months.
Koll urged lodges and guest houses to increase their safety measures.
“Businesses should identify and strengthen their security at the weakest points that could give easy access to criminals.”
Koll was referring to the spate of robberies in the Addo and Sunlands area taking place since late 2018.
Since the beginning of 2019, residents have expressed their concern at the extent to which Addo and surrounding areas were under siege by criminals.
This follows a series of tourist-related robberies and businesses being targeted as a result of an undermanned police force in the area.
In March, Kirkwood farm manager Duaene Truter, 51, was stabbed to death while his wife and son - who were in the house a the time of the attack - managed to escape.
The farm attack took place at about 7pm on the Dunbrody Estates farm.
No arrests have yet been made in the murder.
In a separate robbery, which took place in Alicedale - about 50km from Addo - at about 10.30pm, an elderly couple was beaten and robbed.
Police spokesperson Captain Khaya Tonjeni said the couple, aged 75 and 81, were asleep in the house when two gunmen wearing balaclavas attacked them.
Tonjeni said the gunmen threatened the couple while demanding money.
“No shots were fired during this ordeal. The suspects ransacked the house and managed to open the safe where they took an undisclosed amount of money. Both suspects fled the scene are are still at large.”
Tonjeni said that the couple were taken to Settlers hospital for trauma counselling and medical treatment.
Eastern Cape provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga condemned the attack, saying no stone would be left unturned to apprehend the suspects.
“I would like to wish a speedy recovery to the couple. These are senior citizens who should be enjoying their pension and the fruits of their toil instead of being attacked and robbed of their hard-earned money.
"My instruction to the detectives is clear, follow all the leads in your investigation and ensure that anyone behind this callous attack is arrested and have their day in a court of law,” she said.