NEW YORK — A reporter was set to go live when two men approached and robbed him as the camera rolled. Vuyo Mvoko, a contributing editor at South African broadcaster SABC News, was ready with a news segment Tuesday night outside of Johannesburg’s Millpark Hospital when the mugging occurred. Mvoko could be heard on the broadcast saying, “We’re being mugged!”
He later told SABC that the muggers came up to him and his crew and were attempting to steal his mobile phone which he was holding in his hand after talking to his producer. Mvoko didn’t realize what was happening at first.
“It was literally seconds before going on air,” he said. “Who could possibly disturb me while they know that we’re literally seconds before going on air?” The muggers became more aggressive as Mvoko refused to give up his phone and pushed the reporter off camera.
Mvoko also stated that one of the muggers had a gun. The reporter and his crew were not harmed, but the thieves made off with the crew’s cellphones and a laptop.
The SABC crew reported the crime and the police showed up soon after.
“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 South African National Editors’ Forum said in a statement. “The muggers are clearly identifiable on camera and we hope that arrests and prosecution will occur soon.”
Yet, as Mvoko retold the terrifying story in the SABC studio he seemed in high spirits.
“All in a day’s work,” he joked.
By Frank Pallotta