A mainland woman has been robbed and killed in Johannesburg, two days after two employees of a mainland company were also robbed and killed by armed assailants in the South African city.
The deaths prompted the Chinese consulate in Johannesburg to call a meeting yesterday to warn citizens to take necessary measures to protect themselves from crime.
The two employees were killed on Thursday as they transported a large amount of cash in a minivan from a bank to the company.
The woman killed on Saturday was 34 years old and arrived in the city eight months ago from Haimen, Jiangsu .
Chinese consul general Xu Defu said his office had contacted the woman's family to make arrangements, but declined to give the name of the victim.
Xinhua reported the woman ran a shop in a business area known as 'Hong Kong City', and was followed by robbers as she left work to return home.
Witnesses said the robbers forced her car to a stop by a roadside and shot her in the chest.
However, Mr Xu said the reasons for the murder were still unclear and his office was helping police with their investigations.
The three murders are the latest in a long list of crimes against Chinese residents of the city.
Last month, five were robbed in one day - one was killed and two severely injured.
Mr Xu said there was no evidence that the crimes exclusively targeted Chinese victims as public safety in the country had deteriorated in general over the past year.
He said carrying weapons with proper permits was legal in South Africa, but refused to say whether it would be recommended as a protective measure.
According to consulate data, about 200,000 ethnic Chinese live in South Africa, and 22 were killed last year in criminal cases.
The mainland has seen increased pressure to protect its citizens worldwide as increasing numbers migrate or study and work overseas.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says 35 million mainland nationals travelled abroad last year, with 680,000 of them sent to work overseas by mainland companies in 160 countries and regions.
The central government stepped up its efforts to protect its nationals overseas last month by setting up a consulate protection centre, under the ministry, to co-ordinate related activities.
As more Chinese nationals travel to work or study abroad, safety is a problem
According to consulate data, the number of Chinese killed last year in South African criminal cases was 22