The journalists – two from Portugal and the third a Spaniard – were sound asleep in their rooms in a hotel near Magaliesburg when it was broken into in the middle of the night at 0300 GMT.
The robbers placed guns on each of the journalists and took their valuables like laptops, passports, cameras, World Cup credentials and cellphones before fleeing.
Describing what happened, one of the reports, Antonio Simoes, said: “It was scary, it was two or three minutes tops, but it looked like hours. In the end, when they covered me and put a gun to my chest a second time, I thought: ‘I’m dead’”
“When they left, they told me to remain silent and keep sleeping with the gun still pointed at me. I stayed a hour and a half inside the room waiting for daylight to get out.
“It is surreal putting us here, in a farm with no room phones or security. Where we have passed, we see high, electrified walls and security. It is unthinkable that they put us here.”
One of the perpetrators have been arrested by South African police but the incident is only one of a growing number of worrying concerns for FIFA and the South African government as many fans have already decided to stay away from traveling to the country due to the country’s reputation as having one of the highest crime rates in the world.
It appears that South Korean journalists have been the most targeted so far, when an SBS film crew was strangled in a Johannesburg grocery store restroom and robbed. The man managed to stay unhurt despite passing out, while another South Korean journalist was robbed last Sunday in Durban.
The incidents have come at a time when security officials are also beginning to worry about stadium and crowd safety after a fence collapsed at a stadium where Nigeria and North Korea were playing a friendly, injuring one man amidst scenes of chaos as fans stampeded in order to get into the ground.