Reporters robbed at Aids Day event

2019-12-05 06:00
Residents left traumatised after armed criminals robbed journalists during World Aids Day event at BM section in Site B on Sunday. PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

Residents left traumatised after armed criminals robbed journalists during World Aids Day event at BM section in Site B on Sunday. PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

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World Aids Day celebrations in Khayelitsha on Sunday 1 December were cut short when gun-touting thugs pounced and robbed journalists of their working equipment.

Among other items, they took cameras and laptops before they fled on foot. No injuries were reported. The event was organised by members of the Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu).

Ward 89 councillor Monde Nqulwana said he was on the podium addressing residents when the incident happened.

“I was busy giving children sanitary towels when the incident started. There were four of them and only two were carrying guns. They were walking across Japhta K Masemola Road to RR informal settlement,” he said.

Nqulwana described the incident as unfortunate and an embarrassment to the community. “Now I’m wondering which other organisations or government departments will come to the area to render their services if criminals can rob people in daylight. Which investors can come and invest in Khayelitsha if the rate of criminality is so high?” asked Nqulwana. He says the event was not only celebrating World Aids Day but was also a health awareness programme.

“We invited different organisations and mobile clinics to render free services to the community. While this incident unfolded the community members were busy testing for various diseases including tuberculosis (TB), diabetes, high blood pressure and HIV/Aids,” he said.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa confirmed the incident saying Khayelitsha detectives have started a probe following the incident in which two Newzroom Afrika crew members and a freelance photographer were robbed at gunpoint in the BM Section in Khayelitsha.

“Reports at the disposal of the police indicate that the complaints aged 26, 33 and 63 were part of a media contingent covering a Cosatu World Aids Day event in the area. It is alleged that four suspects, two of them armed, joined the crowd attending the event and moved closer to the journalists threatening them before taking a video camera, a still camera, tripod, a set of headphones, television lightning equipment, three cellphones and amount of cash,” said Potelwa.

She said a case of armed robbery has been opened at Khayelitsha police station. If you have information contact 08600 10111.

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