Journalists robbed at gunpoint in South Africa

Four Chinese journalists in South Africa to cover the World Cup were robbed by an armed gang yesterday.

That followed a report earlier on Wednesday detailing how three Portuguese journalists also covering the World Cup were robbed in their hotel.

According to AFP, several men attacked the Chinese journalists as their car stopped on the side of the road as they returned to Johannesburg after finishing an interview.

The gang stole money and a camera worth about £1,000.

One of the Chinese journalists was reported saying: “When you go out, you have to be careful, put all your valuables in the boot and no matter what happens, don’t open the windows.”

Portuguese photographer Antonio Simoes was held at gunpoint for 30 minutes yesterday while thieves took £25,000 of camera equipment in yesterday’s robbery at the Butbush Boma Lodge.

Press Association reported that two other journalists also found they had been burgled  whilst they slept at the same lodge in Magaliesburg, 75 miles from Johannesburg.

Lt Colonel Leon Engelbrecht, of the South African Police Service, said: “The suspects threw a blanket over [the photographer] and then held a gun to his head…This is obviously high profile so we have to make sure we are on top of this.”

The four star lodge is only 12 miles from the Portugal team’s base camp.

Miguel Serrano, one of the Portuguese journalists who was robbed, said: “We had already complained to the Portuguese federation that the security left a lot to be desired, but we never thought something like this would happen.”

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