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Hunter killed in front of US tourists

06 August 2011 - 14:47 By Sapa

A professional Johannesburg game hunter was shot dead in a robbery while leading American tourists on an expedition in Mpumalanga, says police spokesman Captain Leonard Hlathi.

The hunter, 27, from Fourways, arrived at a guest house near White River on Friday night at 7PM.

He was accompanied by his wife and an entourage of foreigners he had taken on tour.

"They booked in at a guest house seven kilometres away from White River.

"Whilst they were unpacking their belongings two men emerged from the bushes and without saying a word, fired a shot and killed him," he said.

The two men then took the wife's hand bag and fled.

Hlathi said the man died at the scene. No arrests were made as yet.

Hazyview DA councillor Ken Robertson called on provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Thulani Ntombela, to step police action in an area he described as "plagued by criminal activity for an extended period".

"While the DA regrets such a tragic loss of life, we would also like to express our concern over the damage incidents such as this cause the reputation of South Africa as a tourist destination," he said.

Hlathi defended police work in the area.

"Since the General's arrival crime has decreased tremendously through strategies he brought into the province.

"People can see for themselves in the statistics. Visible policing is now considerable and people can see for themselves," he said.

Hlathi added that "security is not only about police".

"We have been making a call that people must also hire the services of private security guards at their premises," he said.

Hlathi appealed to anyone with information to visit their nearest police station.