A Wits Vuvuzela reporter was attacked on campus earlier today as she attempted to take photographs at a march against xenophobia.
Anlerie de Wet was taking photographs at an anti-xenophobia march organised by Wits EFF outside the Matrix building on the east campus of Wits University earlier today when she was confronted by a group of Wits EFF supporters.
The Journalism Honours students says a female supporter grabbed her around her wrist “trying to grab the camera out of my hand camera”, as other supporters rushed towards her. “A male student reached from behind, and smacked my head,” she added.
“They said I’m not allowed to take photos,” De Wet said.
When she questioned why not, she says she was told that she did not ask for permission to take pictures of the march and “because I am white”.
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Mbe Mbhele, secretary of Wits EFF confirmed that a confrontation with De Wet took place but said “there was no physical attack on her”. He said, “the journalist just took a picture of us without asking for permission”.
“When we asked her who she is, why she did not ask for permission, she said this is a public space and that is when the confrontation started,” Mbhele said.
Another Wits student, Ayanda Kunene, witnessed the Wits EFF supporters trying to take the camera from De Wet.
“She (Wits EFF supporter) grabbed the camera, wanting to take it away,” Kunene said.
Quintus Dirks, who also witnessed the incident, said, “I saw three EFF members, one grabbed the journalist’s camera … threatening to smack it”.
In a series of tweets this evening, the Wits EFF account tweeted: “We will not allow any media 2 (sic) take pictures of us without our permission … its against the law. No amount of reports you use will change that”.
“This is poor journalism and misrepresentation of the truth. You can do better really!”, another tweet read.
De Wet has reported the incident to Wits Campus Control.