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Violent Crimes Hit Korean Reporters in S. Africa

Posted June. 07, 2010 13:41,   


The head of a contractor for a Korean broadcasting company has been robbed by three assailants in central Johannesburg, South Africa, the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry in Seoul said Saturday.

The 38-year-old man had his passport and 1,500 U.S. dollars in cash taken Friday evening.

The ministry said he went to a restroom in the Carlton Center, a skyscraper and shopping center located in downtown Johannesburg, when he lost consciousness after being choked. When he woke up, his passport and other belongings were gone but is known not to have sustained an injury.

A ministry official advised Koreans visiting South Africa for the World Cup to pay attention to safety and security, citing the country’s unstable public security and frequency of robbery and theft.

The South African government has strengthened security for World Cup players arriving in the country ahead of the June 11 opening ceremony. Public security for ordinary fans remains weak, however.

Even journalists categorized as the “FIFA family” have also suffered mishaps in Johannesburg. Reporters and producers of major Korean TV networks have been robbed or threatened by the locals, with a Korea Times reporter having his personal belongings stolen.

In 2008 and last year, South Africa had 18,148 murders, or an average of 49.7 per day. It also reported 18,624 robberies, more than a million thefts, and 71,500 sexual assaults. The figures are 16.4 times that of Korea for murder over the same period, 37.5 times for robbery, 4.5 times for theft, and 4.2 times for sexual assault.

zeitung@donga.com yjongk@donga.com