Narrow escape for City Press journo

2010-08-07 15:45
Marumo Machete
City Press journalist Sizwe Sama Yende was accosted at his home in Mpumalanga by a lone gunman after returning from a meeting with a source last night.

Sama Yende, who stays in a security complex in Mbombela, arrived at his house at about midnight.

He had just gone inside and locked the glass sliding door behind him when a man appeared with a firearm and instructed him to open it. The burglar door had not yet been locked.

“I instinctively sensed the danger and rushed into the house, waking my wife,” he said. The gunman fled after the panic button was pushed.

“ADT security immediately gave me a call and within three minutes they were on the scene.” The attacker had apparently cut through the electric fence which happened to be unarmed at the time.

Sama Yende said: “I have written various scathing reports recently but would not want to point fingers at anyone.

What worries me, though, is that if the man was a robber, why did he come alone and not accompanied by his friends who might have assisted him in carrying the loot.”

Sama Yende believes there is a possibility that he was followed home after the meeting with the source.

While he is concerned about the safety of his family, he is determined not to let the incident affect his work.

“I am interested in the development and upholding of democracy in our country. If journalists don’t do this job, who will?”

Sama Yende reported the incident to the Mbombela police this morning. Police spokespeople could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ferial Haffajee, City Press editor-in-chief, said: “Sizwe Sama Yende has been treading on sensitive political toes with his reporting but until we have a full investigation completed, there is no knowing whether this is ‘normal’ crime or part of a campaign of intimidation against journalists doing their job.

“We are grateful that Sizwe is safe and our company, Media24, is moving quickly to ensure that our colleague has 24-hour detailed protection to ensure he is safe and can do his work without feeling scared.”