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British model tied up and robbed of valuables worth £80,000 by machete-wielding gang in South Africa

British model Sarah MacDonnell was tied up by a machete-wielding gang during her stay at a luxury villa in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Ms MacDonnell, along with five other Britons, were robbed of £80,000 worth of valuables after three robbers cut through a fence of the holiday home and forced their way inside her room at Table Mountain’s £870 a-night- Maison Noir. 

The 39-year-old had been in Cape Town for a photo shoot for her London yoga company Manuka Life.

Her boyfriend, identified only as David, had stepped outside for a cigarette when three men wearing balaclavas grabbed him from behind, threatened him with machetes and a screwdriver and forced him inside the villa.

“I was on the loo and one of these guys suddenly appeared right next to me and put a screwdriver against my throat, then hauled me on to the floor,” Ms MacDonnell told the Mail on Sunday

“David was brought into the bathroom by the other two men and his hands were tied up with an iPhone cord. It was petrifying.

“One guy started asking me what valuables we had”.

The three men proceeded to tie up Ms MacDonnell, along with four other employees who did not wish to be named. 

The gang then began to “argue amongst themselves” about whether or not they were going to leave, and one of them took off his balaclava. 

“That’s when it got really scary because you think you’re going to get murdered - or worse”. 

However, eventually they decided to leave with cash, cameras, laptops and phones – amounting to approximately £80,000 worth of goods.

One of the women managed to hide a mobile phone under a blanket and called Cape Town police, who arrived at the scene.

Maison Noir did not immediately return a request for comment, but Ms MacDonnell claims the manager told her he felt so safe at the property, he "doesn't even lock his door".

Cape Town Police did not immediately return a request for comment, but according to Ms MacDonnell, they “told [the holidaymakers] there was minimal security at the property”. 

The government has advised the British public to take particular care when travelling to South Africa, as the country suffers from "a very high level of crime including rape and murder".

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