Five tourists were recently robbed of their cellphones and handbags while visiting tourist destinations in Alexandra.
The Sandton Chronicle spoke to one of the victims Felipa Gaudet, who is on holiday from the United States of America, together with her two children aged six and 17 and two of their friends aged 14 and 20.
Gaudet said they have been in the country since 25 June and they were on their way to go visit Mandela’s house in Alexandra. “As we went through the gates, we were approached by a man with a gun.”
Gaudet said there were three other men who all took their valuables such as cell phones, bags, and handbags. “Everything was in my bag such as my passport, which I got renewed today.”
She said that one of the teenagers in the group saw one of the other men with a gun. “We are all a bit shaky and traumatised. My six-year-old just ran away and she is still processing what happened by talking about it.”
Gaudet said the reaction from the community has been amazing and she is very touched by all the offers of assistance. “The incident does not change my perception of the country, things like this happen and I am just grateful we are okay,” she said.
They will finish the tour that they had planned and, she said, so far the whole trip has been an amazing experience.
Dr Marianne Felix, who runs Yoga4Alex in Alexandra and had arranged the trip, phoned Andre Snyman, founder of Eblockwatch who then put the word out about the incident.
Snyman also said that the response has been amazing and that people are donating cell phones, airtime, offering counselling and meals at their restaurants.
Felix said she had organised a driver she trusts to take them and two of the Yoga4Alex children to sites in Alexandra. “The driver’s phone was also stolen during the robbery and I will be collecting the cell phones donated to the tourists.”
Snyman said Eblockwatch members want to show these kids that 1 per cent of South Africans is bad and 99 per cent is amazing. “Take a look at the goodwill shown on my Facebook page. Members are giving them phones data, airtime, meals at restaurants, accommodation and counselling.”
He continued that the good people are making their day. “‘Go ahead make my day’… and that is what Eblockwatch members are doing for them.”
What do you think about the goodwill shown to the tourists? Share your stories with us on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page.