Journo harassed during immigrant raid

2012-08-18 08:42

Johannesburg - A clampdown by authorities on illegal immigrants turned ugly for a journalist covering the event when he became a target himself.

Sapa reporter Jonisayi Maromo said he and other members of the media had been invited to accompany police, the South African Revenue Service and home affairs officials on a raid in the Pretoria area on Thursday.

"They were having this sting operation to clamp down on illegal immigration and the illegal operation of businesses," Maromo recounted.

He accompanied the group to Sunnyside and followed officials as they arrested suspected illegal immigrants.

Taken away

It was during one such arrest when Maromo found himself under harsh questioning by a home affairs official.
The woman official had grabbed a suspected illegal by the belt before turning to Maromo and asking: "And you? Where are your papers?"

Maromo said: "I told her that I had my documents with me, it's in my backpack. I also told her that I was a journalist covering the operation and I produced my press card."

The woman looked at his press card and called for another official to take Maromo away.

Maromo said he was not given the opportunity to get his passport from his backpack to prove that he was legal.

"I told the official that I had the passport with me. At least, they should have had the decency to let me get it out - just as a human being," Maromo said.


Instead, Maromo was marched down the street in view of his fellow-journalists to a police bakkie.

"I was humiliated in front of my colleagues and passers-by alike. I had not committed any crime," Maromo said.

Maromo said he was preparing to get into the bakkie when a home affairs official who knew him intervened.

"They asked to see my documents. Then the official just said, 'okay, you can go'."

Maromo continued to cover the raid and filed his report as usual.

He said the woman who initially questioned him later apologised.

Home affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa could not be reached for comment.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-08-18 09:05

    Eish! Its a moemish ne

  • godwin.symons - 2012-08-18 09:22

    Yet another cry baby journo.

  • stirer.kathray - 2012-08-18 09:27

    Given a little power, some officials like to throw their weight around - just like apartheid days. The Journo should sue the department - he was just doing his job at their invitation.

  • dsundire - 2012-08-18 09:32

    As usual when it comes to handling foreigners it's assumed all of us are illegal. That's being so unprofessional.

  • Sean Wasserman - 2012-08-18 09:50

    The journalist was not given the opportunity to present his passport. Begs the question if the people being arrested were given an fair chance to show their passports?

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-08-18 10:01

    It probably wasn't even that dramatic.

  • maama.bujju - 2012-08-18 10:11

    Plse Home and Police sensitize ur staff member some of thm cant even read passports,drivers licences,permits they just come boasting round am from SAPS,HOME AFFAIRS,plse deploy well educated and well english trained staff thn ur exercise will b successfull.

      nzapheza - 2012-08-18 11:21

      Haibo maama, u spoil it by saying english staff. Ability 2 speak English's got nothing 2 do with the level of yo education. Decolonise yo mind maama

  • steveroodt - 2012-08-18 10:11


  • Andre - 2012-08-18 10:13

    You can't blame the officials for trying to do their work. The government is at fault for allowing illegals to flow into SA at an unprecedented rate!

  • faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-08-18 10:26

    I blame Johnny Walker. You could have stop walking before you got to SA

      lungani.malevu - 2012-08-18 11:09

      You are just being Xenophobic. The people who built this country are 80% immigrants. So accept globalisation and people with talents to build this country to be the best in the world. We want to be infront of America and China; that is the dream for our African Paradise.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-08-18 10:29

    We have plenty of suitably qualified journo's in SA...why employ foreigners?? Because he's black !! Pathetic performance by the ANC !!

      tshiamo.stevens - 2012-08-18 11:06

      He is not even a foreigner (or a kwerekwere as you nornally call them), mr know-it-all? Read between the lines!

      lungani.malevu - 2012-08-18 11:08

      You are just being Xenophobic. The people who built this country are 80% immigrants. So accept globalisation and people with talents to build this country to be the best in the world. We want to be infront of America and China; that is the dream for our African Paradise.

      bless.mainga - 2012-08-18 17:28

      Do u happen to know the guy, Gerald? And where did u read his race in this story? You are disgusting. For all i care i have read excellent news stories penned by this journo. To show that he is the bigger man, the report here is saying the journo went ahead to cover the Home Affairs maggots like nothing had happened. Exemplary indeed. I would sue if i were him

      lucy.nkomo.7 - 2012-08-18 20:23

      Gerald jordaan no no dont blame A.N.C. blame those peoples who come and be cheep labers in south africa , so white @ blacks of that country they will be still jobless bec cheep labers have take over , is not anc

      mmanonose - 2012-08-19 14:38

      @ tshiamo.stevens- Maromo is from Zimbabwe, not sure if he left Pretoria News, but he is one of the best as they come. And he is not an Illegal immigrant. Came to South Africa way back in the early 90s and got is permanent residence Permit long back, before this influx of Zimbabweans.

  • maama.bujju - 2012-08-18 11:34

    mr Nzapheza sorry abt it what i mean about english is thts the mean of communication between foreigners and the officials so at times u find an official he cnt understand what your explaining to him / her.he /she cant even read what is written on the documents,but if someone understands english very well then life is gonna be soft between the two parties.but about english and education there different issues because there people who speak english and there not educated...

  • phillipm.seopa - 2012-08-18 12:37

    She has apologised what more does he want?don't make tissue an issue.

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