On Friday evening 27 November 2020 at around 8:25 PM Len Pretorius (60) was murdered in front of his recently married wife at Bushboys Adventure Camp near Roossenekal, 20 km northwest of Dullstroom, in the Limpopo province.
The Covid 19 Lockdown nearly destroyed the hospitality industry in South Africa and the sharp increase in crime that followed has the industry in a serious conundrum. To recover economically venues need revenue and are desperate for bookings. But failure to guarantee the security and safety of guests will ultimately sink what is left of the industry.
The owner of the Bushboys adventure camp Mr Joe Holmes said to media that he has always considered the Tonteldoos area safe. “There is almost never any crime here. What happened just shows once again that we live in South Africa where there are an awful lot of criminals who can strike anywhere.”
Attack on guests at a lodge in Addo, 70km outside of Port Elizabeth a few weeks ago. One guest was shot in the chest and another grazed by a bullet.
Joe Holmes clearly cared for his guests as he recently posted a First Aid Qualification on the Bushboys Adventure Camp’s Facebook page. However, South Africa is definitely not the country it used to be and venues will have to sharply increase security measures to fend of attacks by terrorists.
Tourists too must take care and when a venue feel unsafe – leave the area immediately and make alternative arrangements for safe accommodation.
Joey Pretorius (52) the wife of the murdered guest at the Bushboys adventure camp told media, they did not feel safe at the venue when they arrived.
“There are no burglar bars in front of the windows of the chalet and no electric fencing.
The owners assured us it is safe and that they have never experienced any crime. Today my husband is no longer with me. ” – she said.
The couple retired in their chalet on the night of their arrival after having dinner at the reception hall.
Joey says they heard a loud bang on the window.
Len pulled back the curtain and saw three armed men outside.
“They kept kicking against the window. They wanted to come in. ” – she said.
Len grabbed a suitcase and slammed it against the window.
“He became entangled in the curtain, the window broke and then they shot him.”
The bullet hit Len in the face.
“He put his hand on his throat and turned to me. There was a lot of blood. I tried to help him, but he bled to death. “
The three men stormed into the chalet, hit Joey on the head and asked for money and weapons. “I said we do not have weapons. They stole R150 that I had with me and took Len’s wallet. “
They then broke into the couple’s car and stole a bag containing cycling accessories. Joe Holmes, owner of Bushboys Camp & Cottage, says when he heard the shot, he immediately grabbed his flashlight and ran to the chalet.
“We tried to stop the bleeding with towels, but he bled to death in less than five minutes.” said Joe Holmes.
He described the incident as a “shocking and senseless tragedy. My heart goes out to the family. Nothing can undo their loss and their grief. “
Len Pretorius was a keen sportsman and very fond of cycling. The couple are also members of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Club.
Henry van Bosch, a friend of Len, wrote on Facebook:
“There is no sense in what happened. Len has always treated others with respect.”
Len was a market agent at the Fresh Produce Market in Pretoria for many years. He has three children from a previous marriage. He also leaves behind six grandchildren.
Limpopo police spokesperson Col. Moatshe Ngoepe says a huge search has been launched for the killers. Anyone with information can call the police emergency number, 10111.
Source: Network 24
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