The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has described the robbing of an South African National Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) television news crew in Alexandra township, north of Johannesburg, as extremely worrying.
Reporter Natasha Phiri and cameraman Sbu Mcedane were accosted by unidentified men who made off with their camera after trying to hijack their vehicle.
This is the second incident in a week involving the SABC field teams.
Alexandra residents harassed journalists Maageketla Mohlabe and Mahlako Komane last week.
Sanef Executive Director Kate Skinner says attacks on journalists are making it difficult to uncover the truth.
“I think it’s a trend where community members don’t immediately kind of see journalists, as being there to tell their story. That’s something that we need to look at very carefully. The other thing that I think is really important is that journalists really do need a lot of trauma counselling. They need to get a lot of support around covering stories in these dangerous areas and we must make sure that that kind of support is in place.”
SABC condemns attack on its journalists
Meanwhile, the SABC says it has noted with extreme concern the attempted hijacking and robbery of its journalists, while covering a story in Johannesburg’s Alexandra Township this afternoon. The corporation is relieved that none of its crew members were harmed.
The crew was robbed of its broadcast equipment, and the matter has been reported to the police.
The SABC condemns the attack on its journalists, and has further noted recent events where its crews have been attacked while covering stories.
“As our journalists continue to cover political campaigns across the country ahead of the May Elections, the SABC urges the public to allow them to do their work without any interruption, intimidation and harm.”
The stolen camera is the same model as the one below. Residents are urged to contact Alexandra police with any information. Station contact detail: 011-445 4100.
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