South Africa

Fears that Suncoast beach murders will scare off tourists

Fears that Suncoast beach murders will scare off tourists

Durban - The bloody stabbing of a couple whose lifeless bodies were discovered on the sand dunes near Suncoast Casino beach - just days after the city's new promenade was opened and two weeks before the festive season starts - has raised fears that it would scare off tourists wanting to holiday in Durban over December.

Tactical Shooting Team safety and security spokesperson Rivaaj Ramdas said that this murder was not only tragic, it also had serious ramifications for the city.

“We on the brink of the festive season expecting an influx of local national and international tourists. This double murder exposes how unsafe Durban really is, especially the North and South Beach areas,” Ramdas said. 

The circumstances of the deaths of the man and woman are being investigated by police. 

Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said Durban Central police received a complaint of a double murder on the sand dunes near Suncoast beach and proceeded to the scene at 4pm on Monday. 

Naicker said on arrival they found bodies of a man and woman with stab wounds. He said charges of murder were opened at Durban Central police station for investigation.

It is alleged that a man collecting recycling material made the discovery and notified the police.

The pictures of the deceased laying on their backs were circulated widely on social media soon after the incident.  The man still had what appeared to be a knife stuck in his chest. A handbag was found near the woman. An ID document of a woman was also found but it could not be established if it belonged to the deceased. 

Mdu Nkosi an IFP councillor who sits on the city's executive committee said he exercised on the promenade regularly. He said there were many people loitering around and living underneath the piers and inside the sand dunes. 

“I often see people abusing drugs under the pier and I wonder what state of mind are they in. Some are legitimate homeless people while others are there to feed their drug addiction. It is not easy for police because people loiter even at busy traffic intersections. Are the cameras working on the beachfront and who is monitoring them?” Nkosi asked.

Ward 27 councillor Ernest Smithwarned people not to loiter in isolated places because they never know who might be lurking in the shadows. Suncoast Casino spokesperson Kelly Graham said the bodies were discovered in the dune vegetation bordering the promenade. She said police were called to the scene immediately.