Media warned not to enter Wesselton

2011-02-15 14:34

The media were warned not to enter the Wesselton informal settlement, near Ermelo, today, Mpumalanga police said.

“(eNews) and SABC camera crew were attacked earlier today. I say that it is not safe,” said Mpumalanga police spokesperson Captain Leonard Hlathi.

Protesters lit tyres and hay bales, leaving a pall of black smoke hanging over Wesselton.

“I’m in a marked car and I’m wearing a uniform. If I go into the township, I will not come out,” said Hlathi.

Earlier, eNews journalist Jody Jacobs and cameraman Linge Ndabambi were moved to a place of safety after being attacked by violent protesters.

Live TV footage on the eNews channel showed a group stoning a police vehicle, which sped away, and then rushing towards the cameraman and journalist, who sought cover in their van.

The cameraman’s hand was bleeding and vehicle windows were damaged.

Jacobs told viewers that their laptops were also damaged.

Police were shown firing rubber bullets at the protesters and, later, firing on them with handguns.

Hlathi said the protests were believed to be over service delivery issues. 

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