TVNZ staff covering World Cup burgled

A TVNZ cameraman covering the Soccer World Cup in South Africa has had his hotel room burgled and more than $100,000 worth of equipment taken.

Tony George and One News reporter Donna-Marie Lever were having dinner at their FIFA-sanctioned hotel in Rustenburg, 170km northwest of Johannesburg, when the thieves broke in.

They jemmied open the door and cleaned out George's room, taking more than $100,000 worth of television recording, editing and transmission equipment, a laptop, his clothes and passport.

"We're just very grateful Tony and Donna-Marie are safe and well," said One News Editor Paul Patrick.

"It's a very timely and sobering reminder of how vigilant all Kiwis travelling to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup need to be."

Mr Patrick said the AP news agency in South Africa has "generously" helped the pair out with broadcast equipment, transmission capability, transport and money until replacements could be organised.

"They have been amazing and we're very grateful."

George and Lever were today speaking with police.

The hotel where they are staying is near the venue where the All Whites are due to play their first World Cup game.

- NZPA

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