Assault on the Media
On Thursday the 21st of August myself and journalist Xolani Koyana were doing a few assignments between Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats. We decided to go and look if the recent evicted residents close to Town 3 in Khayelitsha where rebuilding their houses and if possible, to get some pictures. As we drove up Mew Way to Baden Powell Drive we unknowingly drove into the wrong end of a stand-off between police and the evicted protesters. When we saw that the road was blocked with telephone poles and realised that the situation was not safe, about 40 protesters were running towards us with weapons and stones. By the time I managed to turn the car around we were already surrounded and Xolani were explaining to the crowd in Xhosa that we are from the newspapers. Despite our efforts and one brave individual amongst the crowd that tried to calm the situation, all the windows started to shatter and we felt the full force of the protest before driving away. This was an unprovoked attack in a situation that we face on a weekly basis and never have I personally experienced such hostility in Khayelitsha before. I urge other members of the media and the general public to be vigilant when passing through these areas and to report protests actions on social media and the authorities. Thank you to my colleagues at the Cape Times and the management of The Independent Newspapers for their quick reaction and support yesterday. Unfortunately I did not have time to take any other photos as events unfolded but I’m glad that nothing more serious happened to us.