Zimbabweans Sentenced 15 Years For World Cup Robbery

Police chief Bheki Cele has reportedly accused foreigners of taking advantage of the country’s rampant crime.

“We have observed a trend where foreigners commit crime – taking advantage of the fact that we have an unacceptable crime level – to tarnish our credibility and image,” The Times newspaper quoted him as saying on Monday.

The World Cup has been dogged by theft, with a New Zealand television crew falling prey to robbers in host city Rustenburg at the weekend following thefts from the Greek team base and foreign journalists.

Another Brazilian was arrested on Sunday for stealing a laptop in Johannesburg, he said.

A theft of some R90 000 from two Uruguay players from a Cape Town hotel room on Friday was deemed an internal incident.

Meanwhile, a Brazilian man will appear in a Cape Town court on Tuesday over the theft of handbags from fans watching the football World Cup opening match, police said.

The 51-year-old man is suspected of stealing handbags from two South African women at a restaurant near Cape Town’s new World Cup stadium in Green Point during the opening game between the host and Mexico on Friday.

A security guard stopped the man at the restaurant entrance and found him with a bag whose contents were valued at $4 200.

Three companions fled with the other bag.

“The suspect has been in the country for just over a month and stayed at a hotel in Green Point,” said spokesperson Billy Jones.

He was charged with theft and appeared in court in Cape Town on Saturday where he was remanded in custody. AFP