Car Stolen in Durban

I was going down to Durban, South Africa for the big international travel show – to represent Leopard Lodge in Kafue National Park, Zambia. Sue decided to come down with me and we were going to take our Botswana car.

We got there on the Friday afternoon before the Indaba and went shopping for things we couldn’t get back home here in Botswana. We had a sea facing room and after dinner we sat watching the sea and our car which was parked just in front of the hotel.

We went to bed roughly at 9.30 and at 10 it started to rain, Sue got up to see the rain, it is something different for us, as we live in a desert. Only to find that our car was no longer there.

Two phone calls and an hour and a half later the police arrived. They were rude and arrogant: not even greeting us. They claimed that as it was a foreign vehicle they could not do anything about it unless we had got a special document at the border when we entered the country. They weren’t even prepared to open a case.

We had simply lost a car, personal items and groceries we were going to bring back with us. On top of it the car was not insured.

We had to hire a car to get home. At the border we enquired about the special document we should have received. The cops there said there was not such a document and the police in Durban had probably been involved.

I then approached the Botswana Police and asked what would happen if a foreign vehicle was stolen in Botswana. They said they would immediately open a case and register it on Interpol as there was a good chance the car would be stopped at a border.

So my advice to you – unless you can get very secure parking don’t take a foreign car into South Africa. They are targeted, as the cops will do stuff all about it. Best of all, unless you have a life threatening emergency – just don’t go to South Africa.

It was so nice getting out of Zuma’s playground and back into a decent country. You will not get me visiting SA again in a hurry. I sincerely hope we never have to live there again.




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9 Responses to Car Stolen in Durban

  1. Hans says:

    Sorry about this because we only have good memories of Botswana. reThis is how things are is South Africa. We, as citizens of this country, are treated the same. This is a corrupt and broken country. Hope we will see some change after the Muni-elections in August but the majority of people still clings to empty promises.

  2. Suki says:

    So sorry to hear your news – the loss of a car is dreadful, as in Africa that is a required form of transport. Sadly treatment by Police forces in SA seems to have gone further down the gutter with only the Cape hanging in. The engineers I work with here in the UK, will no longer go to the Durban area, as security of themselves and their belongings is a major issue, Seems all so far away from the times people headed to “Durbs” for their holidays. I hope you get sorted as soon as possible. Thoughts to you both.

  3. Bridgette Flint says:

    Bugger!!!!! SO glad I don’t live there anymore!


  4. Wow. I find everything about this post sad and disturbing, besides the rain, which I would have gotten up to see too. I love the rainy weather and find it very calming.

    Okay where to start, as a born and bred South African who goes through more than her fair share of shit in this country, I still feel like I need to say something against all these negative posts.

    I do agree, that the police system here is 90% shit and full of kak.

    I do agree that it sounds like they were possibly involved in the theft of your foreign car, which is sad, disgusting and unacceptable.

    I try not to generalize everyone so I will say that I am sorry you got such bad and rude treatment as I myself have been subjected too by members of the force here as well. There are still 1 or 2 good ones out there I promise.

    And having anything stolen from you is just traumatic and leaves a horrible taste in ones mouth doesnt it? I know I have had A LOT stolen from me here not just a few days ago, my phone and wallet with my ONLY cash for the month were pick pocketed from me. I still don’t know what I am going to do.

    However. The saddest part of your story was when you swore off South Africa forever. I know its not all peaches and cream, and our government is shite and so on and so fourth but South Africa itself is one of the most beautifully diverse lands in the world. I know this because I travel it as often as I can from the game reserves in the north to the snow capped mountains down the south, to our warm beaches and protected wetland parks. There is much to see, to enjoy and to appreciate in South Africa.

    I have lived abroad for many years, popping in and out of SA and I can tell you being abroad was a dream at some points, no need to lock doors or worry about cars or phones or anything being stolen. No need to be on super alert 24/7. No worry that I’d be racially abused as I am on a daily basis, being dark skinned and having a white family or white partner, oh believe me being abroad and not having anyone look twice or pre judge me based on that soley was a blessing enough to stay abroad.

    But I did miss what we call home. I did miss the annoying bloody har-de-dars at 04h00 am, I did miss the loud taxi’s who buy their drivers licences and the big mamma;s who give em hell. I did miss the smell of nottingham road in the middle of winter, waking up to fog filled valleys and pine needles everywhere. I missed the smell of elephants and rhino while driving around the hluhluwe imfolozi game reserve, hell I miss living and working in a game reserve too. I missed the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach front, watching the surfers and paddle boarders go out before work. I missed South Africa.

    So while its not the greatest and we cant lie to ourselves and say it is, I still encourage you not to let this experience taint your entire view of South Africa and stop you from possibly having some amazing journeys here. Next time you even think about coming over, contact me and I will arrange a trip and places to stay and so on so that you truly discover whats here.

    Anyway, just putting it out there, have a lovely day and sorry to hear what happened to you.

    • PeteMorrie says:

      Hi Cee

      I appreciate you giving your view and comments. I hear you and agree South Africa is a beautiful country – don’t forget I lived there for 48 years. I traveled a lot of the country and worked for 15 years in game reserves. But I got sick and tired of the crime and the consequences thereof. The politicians were turning the country into a joke that was not funny (I see they are still doing that). The first opportunity I got to get out I took it. Our move to Botswana is the best thing we did.

      Yes I can still see and smell elephants and rhino and Moremi, Chobe and Khumaga, to me, are far better than any SA reserve I have been too. And yes I don’t have to lock my house and car. We sit at night with our doors open, not fearing any danger. Further we have an excellent president and government that are well respected by its people and the world.

      We also have a shoot to kill with poaches – this is why rhino are being moved here from SA.

      Yes SA is a beautiful country, but so is Zimbabwe.

      • Hi Pete

        Thanks for the reply to my message and thank you for taking the time to tell me a bit more about your backround. Often people are quick to say “I’m leaving” without having real experience, or cause to do so, which in the end adds to the issue on the whole.

        I totally get where you are coming from, I can honestly say I have no respect for our current government or the runners up to come and that is such a sad but real truth. And I am sure most of the country feels this way.

        I myself, love travel and am planning to get back out there again soon for a couple years. Sadly as my beautiful but burnt country stands there is nothing here for me as a semi young entrepreneur. If I have kids there is no real education, if I get married I will be judged by the race difference, starting a start up here is already hard enough, add unemployment rates, its all just a mash up of mess right now.

        So I don’t blame you for not wanting to live here and seeing that you have lived for awhile I understand your frustration.

        I do hope you visit from time to time, have a lovely afternoon and I’ll let you know when I am that side, I’d love to come and visit 🙂


  5. PeteMorrie says:

    You are welcome – stay in touch

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