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Onsdag d. 9. juni 2010

PRETORIA, June 9, 2010 - Two days before the start of the World Cup in South Africa and already concerns over local security have been confirmed after two journalists from Portugal and one from Spain were the victims of armed robbery.

The reporters - from Expresso, Global Noticias and Marca – are covering Portugal’s campaign and were asleep in their isolated hotel some eight miles from Magaliesburg when the robbers struck at the Nutbush complex hosting around 20 journalists.
The three were unhurt but were robbed of laptops, passports, cameras, World Cup credentials and mobile phones after the thieves broke in at around 5am local time. Antonio Simoes, one of the three reporters, was quoted by Portuguese news agencies as saying: “It was scary, it was two or three minutes tops, but it looked like hours. In the end, when they covered me and put a gun to my chest a second time, I thought: 'I'm dead".
“When they left, they told me to remain silent and keep sleeping with the gun still pointed at me. I stayed a hour and a half inside the room waiting for daylight to get out.
“It is surreal putting us here, in a farm with no room phones or security. Where we have passed, we see high, electrified walls and security. It is unthinkable that they put us here."
Local police were reported to have arrested one suspect after tracing the signal of one of the stolen phones.
More media robberies reported
This is not the first incident involving media representatives. On June 2 a member of the SBS (Australia) broadcasting crew was robbed at the restrooom of a grocery store in Johannesburg. Last Sunday, a South Korean reporter was robbed in the street in Durban.
A string of low-level robberies were reported by members of the international media covering the Confederations Cup last summer, prompting the South African security authorities to revise their optimistic early predictions of a fully-secure World Cup. Later statements by ministers and officials clarified that such comments referred specifically to the event occasions and, more particularly, within the so-called “FIFA ring” around the stadia and training centres.