Newsreel was not able to reach either Mhashu or Mawere on Monday. Its reported that armed men burst into Maweres house on Friday, in the posh Bryanston suburb north of Johannesburg. “They were having supper when a number of men with guns entered the house, tied them up, assaulted them and demanded money,” national police crime intelligence spokesman Tumi Golding said. The robbers made off with jewellery, money and electronic goods. Mhashu meanwhile received treatment for injuries sustained and was discharged from hospital on Saturday.
With South Africa battling to control high crime levels ahead of the FIFA 2010 World Cup, the robbery involving a senior Zimbabwean government official once again puts the country in the spotlight. Furious police officials sought to blame the Minister for not having requested protection.
“We are concerned that he came into this country without following protocol, if any minister comes into the country he must register with the South African government and we will be tasked into protecting him,” police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Vishnu Naidoo said.
In February last year Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, then still an opposition leader, was held up by three armed men who followed him from the international airport in Johannesburg. The gang attacked Tsvangirai just outside the MDC offices in Bryanston. Reports said he had just arrived from Zimbabwe with his then spokesman George Sibotshiwe and two other aides. The armed gang drew out their weapons and robbed the entourage of their money, laptops, cellphones, luggage and a file of documents.