No new evidence has been forthcoming in the robbery that occurred at Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp on Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The car that was used in the robbery was found at the Mananga border post between South Africa and Swaziland. “No arrests have been made,” said Oubaas Coetzer, spokesperson of the Skukuza Police Station.
According to Raymond Travers, spokesperson of the Kruger National Park (KNP), the staff affected by the robbery have received preliminary counselling by the South African National Park (Sanparks) psychologist to determine their state of shock after being brutally beaten and terrorised by the robbers. “Our major concern at this stage is the health and safety of the staff members concerned and we are ensuring that they receive all the necessary care in order to be able to resettle them back into their positions,” said the KNP Executive Director Dr Bandile Mkhize.
The five robbers jumped over the camp’s fence shortly after midnight on Tuesday morning, July 11, 2006 and tied up the guards who were on duty at the time. They then used picks and other utensils to break a large hole in a wall of the camp’s reception building.
They then found that they could not break open the safe and forced one of the guards to tell them where the manager was. They then broke into the house shared by the camp’s duty manager Wesley Mabasa and day walk guide, Billy Sibuyi, who shares his accommodation with his 12 year old son and severely assaulted Sibuyi.
They also discovered a small firearm safe in this house and, after demanding the key; they opened this and took Sibuyi’s personal firearm, a 9mm pistol. They forced Mabasa at gunpoint to surrender the safe key and were able to open both the money safe and a firearm safe. A large amount of cash was then removed from the main safe and three firearms – two .458 rifles and a 12-gauge shotgun – and ammunition were removed from the firearm safe.
The robbers also broke into the shop and stole cash and looted the shop. “We would like to thank our visitors for their patience when they were forced to wait that morning while the police were busy with their crime scene investigation. It is the requirement of the Criminal Procedures Act that the scene must not be compromised until all the evidence is gathered,” concluded Dr Mkhize.