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amybatt

Jouberts held up at gunpoint in SA

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Saw this on Dereck and Beverly Joubert's Facebook page this morning. I'd include a link but I cant get it to the specific post. Here is the text of the post:

 

 

There's nothing like the feel of cold hard steel pressed up against your head to get your attention. Africa, oh Africa how we love you. Even though the feeling is not always mutual.

We have been hit by elephants 4 times, 3 deadly snake bites, 20 scorpions, numerous bouts of malaria and yesterday had to consider a rather unromantic exit at gunpoint in Johannesburg. It would have made our final book sad.

There was the usual South African exchange of watches, some shouting, a little cash and a moment in time that ended well. Funny how everyone says it ended well.

The good news: Beverly is safe. There's a small bump on my head from a gun barrel. Heists in Jhb are ridiculously high again. This is case number 79 in this street this year, and it is only the 6th of January. It's probably time for citizens to ask questions on why, again.

In the race of life, it seems that the rise of bad, cheap and evil is on the increase, and everything good, beautiful and ethical has to fight to hold its head above the rising tide. We need to lend support to those things that will make us better.

We visit SA regularly but don’t really live here. For Beverly to have had guns at her head 4 times in 12 years is a very poor average against the actual number of days in town. Comparatively, living with lions and elephants is virtually risk free.

Watch yourself at Hyde Park in SA. Baddies follow people from there. The police know it and nod knowingly. I see security dozing off in the corners.

We feed 6,000 per day in Africa through our Great Plains efforts. Until we address the divide between the lowest income and middle, the need will overwhelm us all.

I see the wild eye, turn violent with the greed, and I thank you silently, and apologise to you. For your life of fear, and mine filled with such beauty.

On the horizon clouds form over Botswana and pump rain onto the plains. This is going to be a good season.

- Dereck

 

 

 

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Wow - scary! Thanks for sharing @@amybatt

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Glad they were not seriously hurt.

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I'll be one more to say it ended well. But it never should have happened.

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these things can happen , fortunately there was no real harm

 

I once had a guide who told me someone pointed a pistol at him down a dark alley at night in cape town, it it ended when the original pointer walked away as the guide responded by pointing his 9 mm pistol at him . the guide keept it on a belt mounted hosster.

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Posted (edited)

@@amybatt I feel just awful. I'm so glad that they weren't hurt. I've never been to Hyde Park in Johannesburg,but I know to avoid it. I don't believe that it's an area where many tourists go anyway. I just checked and have to say that one would assume that Hyde Park would be safer because it's in Sandton the wealthiest area of Gauteng State, and indeed of South Africa.

Edited by optig
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Posted (edited)

Ok! This is kind of getting to me now. My first ever Safari is scheduled for Kenya this coming September. My sister-in-law's aunt lives there, there house was burglarized at gun point. Her parents visit the country and have lived there before. She says it's not a safe place. She suggested not wearing any jewelry or expensive watches and stuff. I had assumed it was fine from the various opinions here and elsewhere. But, I had assumed SA to be safer than Kenya. But getting held at gun point wasn't even in the radar even in Kenya. This has happened in SA which I thought was safer.

 

After having read this, I know there's is a more than zero chance of us being held at gun point during our visit. Reading response like 'it ended up well' means there's a chance they could have been killed. That's freaky!

 

We are flying into Nairobi, a popular tourist company is picking up at the airport and putting us in a hotel overnight. Then on we will be in a private Land Rover with a couple of internal flights in between. What are the chances, we may never return from this trip?

Edited by Gilgamesh

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@@Gilgamesh

If you think like this you would need to live in a glass house. How many people are killed in the USA per year? More than 16.000 in 2011 (11.000 by firearms) a statistic says.

Go to Kenya and enjoy your time as we did in 2016.

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Posted (edited)

@@Gilgamesh

If you think like this you would need to live in a glass house. How many people are killed in the USA per year? More than 16.000 in 2011 (11.000 by firearms) a statistic says.

Go to Kenya and enjoy your time as we did in 2016.

Tourists held at gun point, with chance of them being killed is extremely rare (I can only think of an Australian a few years ago and possibly another whose details a murky). Never, for those in an organized trip with a guide. Edited by Gilgamesh

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@@Gilgamesh

 

what's the difference of being killed as a citizen in the States or as a tourist in Kenya?

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Posted (edited)

@@Gilgamesh, I work a few blocks from the Boston Marathon finish line. I was working the day of the terrorist blasts. I stopped worrying about anything that could happen to me on a trip when I feel less safe sitting at my desk or walking to/from the train to work.

 

Edited to add: my point being, it can happen anywhere. Paris, London, Madrid, NYC, Boston. My choice is to stay home or travel and live.

Edited by amybatt
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@@Gilgamesh

 

We (people who live in the U.S.) probably are much more likely to be killed here, whether by a drunk driver, a domestic gun nut, an abusive spouse, or (if we're black) a police officer, than we are to be killed while visiting another country, particularly while on a high-end safari during which we're treated like royalty. If that's not immediately obvious, then we're lying to ourselves about the level of violence at home.

 

That said, while traveling overseas, I'm much more cautious in big cities than I am in rural areas, JUST AS WHEN I TRAVEL DOMESTICALLY. This robbery took place in a huge city halfway across the continent from where you're going. If you knew someone who was mugged in New York, would that prevent you from going to Oklahoma?

 

-tom a.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@ Gilgamesh I've been living in Nairobi for 4 years and feel safer in Nairobi than I would in my native Chicago,Detroit, Baltimore, St Louis and many other American cities. I've never been the victim of a violent crime nor heard of a single tourist ever being the victim of one. I can assure that you'll be safer on your trip to Kenya than you would be in Dayton,Ohio. Please enjoy your trip because it will be the best of your life. I'm constantly telling other people that only need to exercise the same common sense precautions in Kenya that they would in the States or anywhere else and they'll be just fine.

Edited by optig
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Thank you for the responses. If it's anywhere as safe as Dayton or other cities mentioned, I'm more than fine. But, like I said folks who've lived there and here were advising me how unsafe it is. I am glad you guys chimed in, as I do feel better.

 

I never worry about this, but my wife got a ear full from our relatives who've lived there over Christmas. She is a scardy cat and I of course reassured here. This report made me doubt it. Thanks!

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I have to say that it's quite rare that a foreign tourist ever has a problem with a Kenyan,and when they do it's almost always because they've done something moronic which one wouldn't do back in their own home country if they ahd any common sense.

Even after living in Kenya for 4 years, I'm still impressed by the courtesy, kindness, helpfulness, charm, and sense of humor that I encounter from Kenyans daily. Most people are amazed at the warm reception that they receive from Kenyans regardless of their class or tribe.

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The murder rate has been dropping in the USA, and yes I am aware of the Chicago homicides. You need to compare apples to apples. Hoping this wikipedia page has some accuracy. Traveling around SA, Kenya and 3rd world countries requires a bit of common sense. It isn't Kansas and it always amazed me people think it is just like home.

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Enjoy your trip @@Gilgamesh - you will be hooked!!!! That's a promise!

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I'm not so sure the murder rate in the US is dropping. Deaths due to gun violence certainly isn't. But if you want an apples-apples comparison then you need to look at violence against tourists, which to my knowledge is a non-issue in the US.

 

What matters more though, is the perception of risk that this will happen to you. While Turkey is #1 on my bucket list, I doubt I'll go any time soon due to the instability there, yet there are still people who do go. It's perceived risk and the willingness to assume that risk. What we did here for Gilgamesh is offer up our anecdotal experience to help him assess his risk.

 

I certainly didn't share the Jouberts' story to scare anyone off Africa, that would be the last thing I'd want to do. It was more interesting* to me that things like this happen even to the cagey veterans of African travel like the Jouberts. (Or maybe their spending so much time there just increases their exposure to the potential...but whatever...)

 

* not sure "interesting" is the right word, but you know what I mean...

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@@amybatt - Whilst it isn't the classic apples / apples comparison ........... I still think the US is a similar situation. For example., with the free access of guns to the wrong people (whatever reason) you could simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time (AS A TOURIST) - any public place for that matter!

 

I do not know if the issue is accentuated in recent years by more media coverage? or has it become a problem in more recent years.......

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As high as the crime rate may be in South Africa the fact is that murder rate has fallen by half since 1994. The number of breakins by armed criminals has also fallen considerably. The fact is that tourist areas are very safe for tourists.

The number of tourists who have problems in South Africa is in fact quite small.

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Posted (edited)

@@amybatt - Whilst it isn't the classic apples / apples comparison ........... I still think the US is a similar situation. For example., with the free access of guns to the wrong people (whatever reason) you could simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time (AS A TOURIST) - any public place for that matter!

 

I do not know if the issue is accentuated in recent years by more media coverage? or has it become a problem in more recent years.......

First glad the Jouberts are safe and sound. They are a valuable resource for all of Africa.

 

Second why does everyone compare every country to the USA? Honestly you have to look at murders per 100,000 people. USA is ranked #109 out of 218 countries....South Africa is #9!

 

Population:

 

SA = 54 million = 33-37 murders per 100,000 people = a very dangerous country! It was a lot higher 10 years ago...almost 70 per 100,000. So congrats on making things a little safer.

 

USA = 350 million = 3-5 murders per 100,000 people = safe country Could you imagine if the world news covered the murders that happened on a daily basis in South Africa...

 

Another example would be California which is almost the same size as South Africa.

 

CA = 41 million = 4 murders per 100,000 people = safe state.

 

Lets look at India...

 

India = 1.3 Billion = 3.2 murders per 100,000 people.

 

Also keep in mind that both India, CA and South Africa have very strict gun laws vs the USA overall (contrary to popular belief we do go through a background checks to legally purchase guns). There is also data on the exact murders based on race and legal vs illegal guns, I am not going to get into that on this site.

 

 

Edited by SSF556
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This thread is gun specific isn't it? For example., I don't think going into a Walgreens or Target or WAWA is without risk in today's USA.......

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Posted (edited)

This thread is gun specific isn't it? For example., I don't think going into a Walgreens or Target or WAWA is without risk in today's USA.......

 

 

What are you talking about? Again the data supports the fact that the USA is a very safe country to live in. Everything involves a risk. Of course there are places in the USA that are sketchy, but I have lived in the USA for 41 years and have travelled to all the big cities, my inlaws live outside of Detroit MI. I have never seen or been involved in any gun related incident, neither has my wife, or my family or her family. Same things with my friends. I have been traveling to Miami and Detroit for work for the last 10 years...no issues. Does the guy working at a liquor store in a sketchy part of town increase his odds of being involved in a crime..of course. But that is the case in Mumbai, London, Chicago or Melbourne. There are a number of stereotypes about every country and the news from the USA gets plastered all over the world. When was the last time we saw a CNN news story on Zimbabwe or Honduras? Stereotyping is dangerous...for instance if I watched Slumdog Millionaire and I lived under a rock I would think every kid in India grows up in a slum and hides in the crapper. Does that happen yes..but is that the case for every kid in India...No.

Edited by SSF556
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Yeah, the USA is really quite safe despite what you hear from politicians and news coverage.

 

While we have a lot of guns in comparison to other countries, suicide tops the list of firearm related deaths.

 

As far as Kenya goes, you're much more likely to die in a traffic accident or from Malaria than violence. It appears to be about on par with the USA as far as violence related deaths go.

 

South Africa is another story - violent crime is pretty bad there. And N=1, I know, but I wandered around Cape Town on vacation with two other women about 4 years ago with no issues. Be smart about where/when you go out.

 

worldlifeexpectancy.com

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That is my point about South Africa like everywhere is safe in many places. It's quite rare that tourists are the victims of violent crimes. I noticed myself

when I was last in Saxonwald, a beautiful suburb of Johannesburg that the risk of home invasion had fallen considerably. This was seen in the trial of Oscar

Pistorius that the compound where he lived was a fortress. He lived in a compound with 12 feet tall electrified fences, cctv. and guards who were armed with automatic

rifles.

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