South African TV journalist mugged while preparing for live broadcast

Friday, March 13, 2015

Mvoko was broadcasting for SABC at the time of the mugging
Image: Zaian.

On Wednesday, Vuyo Mvoko, a television journalist, was mugged moments before he was due to start a live broadcast in Johannesburg, South Africa. During the incident, two men approached Mvoko and demanded his mobile phone while he stood near the Milpark hospital. When Mvoko refused to hand over the phone he was reportedly threatened with a gun. Video footage caught the mugging and has been publicly released.

In the video, the perpetrators never appeared to look at the camera. The assailants escaped with mobile phones and laptops. Police have announced that officers are investigating the mugging. During a later interview, Mvoko spoke about the incident. He said, "It was like seconds to air and then the commotion started... I couldn't understand why they'd walk right in front of the camera because the light is on and they could see that - and our car is branded, so they could see that this is a live broadcast -- because I wasn't giving him the phone, he then called the other one who had a gun, and said: 'Dubula le nja.' [Shoot this dog]."

The South African National Editors' Forum released a statement relating to the mugging, saying "Every South African lives with the reality of crime, but to see thugs brazenly ignoring television cameras and robbing media workers in the course of their work, yet again brings home the level of criminality in our society." The broadcast was taking place to report the arrival of Edgar Lungu, the Zambian President who arrived in South Africa for medical tests after he collapsed last week.