February 26, 2024

Hitchhiker kills German tourist in South Africa

Hitchhiker kills German tourist in South Africa

A German tourist was robbed and killed by a hitchhiker in South Africa, police said on Monday, announcing the arrest of the suspect and two alleged accomplices.

The 74-year-old man, who has not been named, offered his alleged killer a ride on Saturday as he was driving in the north of the country, having crossed the border from Botswana.

“The victim had trusted this ruthless criminal, but he turned against him and, together with his friends, tortured and brutally killed him,” provincial commissioner Thembi Hadebe said.

Police said the passenger befriended the driver, who asked him for help in finding accommodation.

The two stopped for drinks near Moruleng, a town close to the renowned Pilanesberg National Park, where they were joined by the alleged killer’s accomplices.

The victim was then driven to a house, where he was tied up and assaulted as the robbers stripped him of his cash and valuables and demanded to know his bank pin code.

The man’s body was later found dumped in bushes near a farm, police said.

The suspects, all foreign nationals aged between 24 and 46, were arrested later during the weekend, having been found in possession of some of the dead man’s belongings, police said.

Famed for its wildlife and natural sights, South Africa receives millions of travellers every year.

Tourism is a key contributor to the economy but the country also suffers from extremely high crime rates.

It recorded almost 84 murders a day between October and December, according to official figures.