TUT JOURNALISM STUDENT ATTACKED
By: Karinda Jagmohan
A journalism student from the Tshwane University of Technology has created media buzz after being attacked by church-goers who wanted to “eat her hair”.
The second-year student, Kgalalelo Tlhoaele, set out on Sunday to Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, to capture the events of the End Times Disciples Ministries church lead by the
controversial pastor, Penuel Mnguni.
Mnguni recently sparked fury across South Africa when videos emerged of him compelling his congregation to eat live rodents and snakes, and partake in various unusual activities.
Angry residents of Soshanguve and members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) marched to the church to protest against the practices of the self-proclaimed pastor.
A team of journalists, including Tlhoaele, attempted to record the protesters destroying the church, however, Tlhoaele reported that they were quickly attacked by church members.
According to Pretoria North Rekord, Tlhoaele said, “We were taking photos of the people when one of them saw my hair and said ‘I see food on her head!’ I tried to run away, but the
group caught me and tried to pull out my hair.”
The student journalist managed to escape with minor knee injuries and saliva on her weave.
Tlhoaele added that police members who were watching over the ordeal did not help when
she was being attacked.
A video-technology student at the Durban University of Technology, Christine Ndlovu said,
“I can’t imagine what she must have been thinking. It’s dangerous for anyone who goes looking for such situations. I mean, if I had to go there holding a camera, and they attacked
me, I would completely freak out.”
Photographer, Suraj Jithen, explained what a journalist should do when facing similar situations.
He said, “Always remember to put your safety first. If there is possibility for a great photograph then try your best, but if that possibility puts your life in danger then walk away.
You will be able to handle these situations as you grow in your experience.”
Radio 702 has reported that a case of public violence has been opened against the EFF for destroying the church’s tent.
However, the party’s Gauteng spokesman, Ntobeng Ntobeng, has denied the accusation, stating that the community members were at fault, and the EFF was only trying to correct
Mnguni’s immoral acts.