An Embarrassment to Zuma
By Melanie Nathan, May 14, 2014.
Armed robbers boarded a tour bus and robbed 30 American students at gun point in Pretoria, South Africa. The students, from a Maryland university, on a trip to South Africa will return home early.
No one was injured during the robbery according to Stevenson University. Officials are confident that students are safe, but they are being brought back to the United States as a precaution, Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Jim Salvucci told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
“We want to maximize the safety of the students and their well being,” Salvucci said, “so we’re working very, very hard to arrange flights and bring them home as soon as possible.”
Officials at the Baltimore-area school said four people with a gun stopped the bus about 1 p.m. Sunday, the second day of a five-week educational trip. The robbers stole cash, electronics and passports from the students and five of their chaperones. Salvucci said the passports have been replaced, and the university plans to reimburse the students and faculty for their losses.
Former Baltimore police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld, who is now a faculty member chaperoning the trip, said in a school news release that students “remained calm and focused despite the pressure and fear.”
This ought to embarrass the recently re-elected President Zuma, as he has not done much to curb South Africa’s extraordinarily high crime rate, while making every effort to hide it from the tourist industry. South Africa’s unemployment rate is around 28% and many jobless have taken the streets in gangs, where bold robberies and home invasions are not uncommon.
There is probably no country on earth where homes of the middle class to wealthy display so many high – and so extraordinarily high – with extensive barbed wire and electrical fencing, security gates and cameras.
Most houses in South African suburbs even have internal security gates, in hallways, which are locked at night, to safeguard sleeping quarters from living and entry rooms.
I personally have lost close and dear friends to these types of desperate crimes, murdered for wrist watches or less.
It is most fortunate that no one was hurt in this awful event. Let us see what the USA State department ramps up its advisories which state:-