Johannesburg - Political parties have condemned the mugging of SABC journalists outside Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.
SABC contributing editor Vuyo Mvoko, foreign editor Sophie Mokoena and journalist Chriselda Lewis were preparing for a live crossing on Tuesday night after covering the arrival of Zambian President Edgar Lungu at the hospital.
Video footage showing two men accosting Mvoko as he waits to deliver his report in front of the camera went viral. It had over 170 000 YouTube views on Wednesday morning.
Mvoko said later in an SABC interview that one of the men threatened him with a gun when he did not immediately give up his cellphone.
Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba said police would do everything in their power to ensure the suspects were caught.
“We are shocked at the brazen nature of this crime. The cameraman managed to film the incident and the faces of the suspects could be clearly seen,” he said.
The Young Communist League (YCLSA) said journalists should not be hindered in doing their work.
“Journalists and media personnel have an obligation to disseminate news and information. They should not be impeded in fulfilling that obligation,” said spokesman Kaya Xaba.
The SA Communist Party called on the police to move speedily in their investigations, arrest the perpetrators, and ensure they were brought to book.
“The SABC must look into what happened with a view of taking active steps to prevent similar occurrences on workers in their line of production,” spokesman Alex Mashilo said.
The Congress of the People said crime had reached crisis proportions.
“When ordinary people complain about crime being out of control, government does not take that seriously,” said spokesman Dennis Bloem.
“The reality of the situation is that crime has reached crisis proportions. If one opens a newspaper or looks at news on television, crime is dominating the news.”