By Neeraj Gangal
Director of Dubai Music School was robbed by six thugs upon arrival in S Africa.
A Dubai-based singer-songwriter was mugged at knifepoint in South Africa, last week, it has emerged.
Glenn Perry, Dubai-based musician, director of Dubai Music School and charity worker got mugged at knifepoint by six thugs in Johannesburg last week, in broad daylight at 9 am.
In an email, Perry informed that upon arrival in at the Johannesburg airport, he asked a “decent looking” taxi driver dressed in a suit and tie to take him to a good hotel in a safe area.
Instead, the taxi driver dropped off Perry to a remote place, where he was abducted by six thugs who robbed him of all his money and personal belongings. Perry somehow managed to defend himself and escape. He returned to Dubai yesterday, shaken by the incident.
The musician maintains that South Africa is a well-developed and beautiful city to visit, but has some words of advice for travellers to avoid being mugged in the country.
Perry advises all travellers visiting Johannesburg, to confirm their accommodation and transportation arrangements before they board their flight. He also cautions to beware of illegal taxi drivers dressed up in a suit and tie.
“There is no taxi counter at the airport in Johannesburg. Contact the airport police to assist you if you need a taxi. Also be very careful when travelling anywhere in Johannesburg. Never venture out on your own, especially after sunset.”
Founded by Perry in 1980, Dubai Music School claims to be the first music school in the UAE.
To Mr. Perry It saddens me that you should have had such a terrible experience in our country, and you wouldn't be the first. It is such a beautiful place with so many positive things that have happened in it and so many great achievements through a difficult transition, that it really annoys me when it's reputation is spoilt by a minority of criminals. As a proud South African, I hope that this does not deter you from going back again.
I sympathise with Mr Perry as a South African too. However, landing in a foreign country and leaving your accommodation plans to a taxi driver is a very amateur mistake to make. Why would you do this anywhere in the world? You set yourself up as a target the moment you show that you are an "innocent tourist" in many parts of the world. Just for a little perspective, my cousins were mugged right outside Gatwick airport in UK in March losing wallets, passports etc. It can happen anywhere. A school mate was stabbed last Sunday in Geneva and had his credit cards stolen. Also, just to state the facts, there IS a Taxi counter at JHB international airport as well as Police desks and Information desks where info can be gained on transportation, accommodation and onward travel. I should know because I was part of the team that renovated the airport recently. I hope Mr Perry will return to south Africa as a tourist, and hopefully he's lesson learned will be carried with him in all his travels anywhere in the world to be more prepared and not to trusts complete strangers at face value with your money & your life.