The co-owner of the lodge, told News 24 that this was the first major incident they had experienced in 15 years of the lodge’s existence.
The journalists, two from Portugal and one from Spain, were robbed in their rooms at Nutbush Boma Lodge in Magaliesburg by armed men at about 04:00. Two of them slept through the incident.
They are in the country as part of the foreign media contingent to cover the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“I am more than angry because we’ve built up a wonderful reputation along the years,” Nutbush co-owner Nick Mauerberger told News24.
“This has never happened before.”
He said the lodge had 24 hour security available, and had been approached by the police leading up to the World Cup as they had a large contingent of Portuguese press staying at their lodge.
“They told us that they would make a few police officers available to us. When we later contacted them, they informed us that security was our responsibility,” he said.
Entered via mountain
Mauerberger said he suspected that the robbers gained entry through the top of the mountain.
“We’ve spoken to police and they’ve told us that they’re following a few leads.
Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Notícias reported that a photographer working for Global Images was allegedly woken up with a firearm pointed to his head.
Antonio Fimoes told AFP that he was the only one to wake up when the robbers came in.
“There were two of them. One of them had a pistol and pointed it at my head and told me to shut up while the other one rummaged through our things.
“They got away with some money, passports, photographic material and clothing. In the other rooms where my colleagues were sleeping, they just took what they could find.”
Eyewitness News reported that equipment, TVs, cameras, laptops and cellphones were stolen.
“Everybody is fine and no one was injured,” a friend of one of the journalists said.
“There were no injuries and no arrests as yet but we are hopeful that we will track the suspects down and arrest them,” the police’s Sally de Beer said.
Sapa quoted the police’s Colonel Hangwani Mulaudzi as saying they have good leads, and the police are on the scene assisting the victims, who “appear to be in good health”.