Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Was Almost Added to the Number of Journalists Attacked

Sibusiso Khasa

These student protesters were singing violent songs
and threatened a student journalist during their march.
Recently the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) issued a statement requesting protesters not to attack journalists as has become the norm.

“We urge the organisers of such protests to put an end to such attacks and to take steps to ensure the safety of journalists. Attacking the messenger in this way does nobody any good. Endangering journalists and their equipment this way can only result in the media shunning such areas, making it impossible to tell stories and to inform the public,” reads the SANEF statement

It appears this call has fallen on deaf ears people still see an enemy when someone holding a camera appears at a protest march. I was attacked on Tuesday when I was taking photographs of protesting students at the Tshwane University of technology’s Pretoria campus.

“Who gave you the permission to take pictures?” asked a group of angry students when they saw me taking pictures of them protesting.

From there I was escorted by one of the University’s security officials to safety. The students were chanting “Ayesaba amagwala. Dubula, dubula” (The cowards are scared. Shoot, shoot).

This was being chanted while fingers were pointing at some of the staff members who were watching them from the top view of the building.

It is not clear what the students were protesting for. The one I spoke said they were against the fact that their “brothers and sisters have been excluded unfairly both academically and financially”.

During the previous weeks we saw an attack on e-tv cameraman and journalist, Linge Ndabambi, by protesters in Ermelo. In North West last year two Mail & Guardian journalists were attacked by protesters and the same fate almost happened to me.

This does not happen in our country, but takes place all over the world. Allafrica.com reports that the many have been victimized, arrested, attacked and killed in Cairo, Egypt recently saying that the number of journalists attacked in that country is at an alarming 60.


  1. I still don't see the reason why people should shoot the messnger. If a person bought and has a camera, its up to that person how he choose to use it. If he choose to take pictures of the universe, let him do that with the equipment one has... When doing something its clear that you have a solid reason of doing so, why don't you wanna cee yourself on the papers doing what you does best... Protesting is there in there bill of rights, you have every right to protest but know why and where to protest... Protest for your own benefit but don't "disturbe" other people's right... HANDS OFF THE JOURNALISTS!!! HANDS OFF!!!

  2. How can their griviences and sorrows be heard out there and reach the relevant ears if they launh war against people who are supposed to tell their problems to the outter environment and world at large?i think its barbaric,crazy and absolutely unacceptable to attack someone who is supposed to give you platform to tell your story,to raise your worries and call out for help from relevant superiors or officials.its ohk for one to exercise the democratic right of protesting but it would be pointless if u attack someone who is supposed to be your voice to the public.THINK BEFORE YOU ACT!!!