by Melody Brandon
JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- While South Africa put its "best foot forward" during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the murder of a 28-year-old British tourist in the country's province of Cape Town has renewed concerns over tourist safety in the country.
"It is appalling that the actions of one or two thugs should bring our entire country into disrepute in the eyes of the world," the head of the country's police force, General Bheki Cele, said in a statement on Monday afternoon.
"South Africa safely hosts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually without any serious incident, as was proved during the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup," he added.
According to police, Anni and Shrien Dewani were abducted by armed men on Saturday who stopped their taxi at an intersection close to the township of Gugulethu.
The attackers are believed to have forced out the driver and sped off with the couple, the 31-year-old man was released an hour later.
But the woman was killed and her body was found in Lingelethu West Township, southeast of Cape Town.
Authorities in Sweden have identified the 28-year-old woman as a Swedish citizen.
"The Swedish foreign ministry is helping support her family and will travel to South Africa to help bring home her body," ministry spokesman Henrik Knobe told the Associated French Press on Monday.
Regional tourist authorities said the couple arrived in Cape Town on Thursday last week, it is believed that the couple, who had been married for only two weeks, asked their driver to have taken them to the township of Gugulethu to sample local nightlife.
While South Africa has an average daily murder rate of 46 and is widely considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world when it comes to violent crime, it was hoped that the success of the recently hosted Soccer World Cup would improve international perceptions of the country.
However, on Monday as news of Anni Dewani's murder was aired on International television news casts, it seemed that all progress made in improving perceptions and stimulating tourism to the country had been lost.