2007-02-25 : SA robbers scare CNN war reporter

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2007-02-25 : SA robbers scare CNN war reporter

Postby GOSA » Tue, 2007-02-27 16:20


SA robbers scare CNN war reporter

Henriëtte Geldenhuys
25 February 2007

‘This was cold hard steel on my forehead. I heard the guy cock the gun’

Award-winning CNN Africa correspondent Jeff Koinange and his pregnant wife were robbed at gunpoint at the news broadcaster’s Johannesburg office yesterday.

Four armed robbers attacked Koinange and his wife, Shaila, both 41, when they stopped in front of the CNN office in Auckland Park at 7.45am. They stole the couple’s cellphones, wallets, family pictures, two suitcases, two laptops and a new camera.

A few hours later Koinange was live on CNN, telling the world about his horrific welcome.

Shaila had just fetched Koinange from OR Tambo International Airport. The two went to drop off his equipment at the office.

As he got out of his car, a gun was held to his head. A second robber walked over to the passenger side of the couple’s car and pointed a gun at Shaila’s belly.

“She’s 14 weeks pregnant. It shows a little bit but I don’t know if they knew. But that really freaked me out. It was the first thing on my mind. The baby will be our first-born,” said Koinange.

The journalist has covered war zones in Liberia, Sudan and Iraq.

Just last month masked militants in the Niger Delta fired on him and his crew with machine guns . He filed a report saying he had found himself “in one of the scariest positions of my journalistic career”.

Yesterday he said the robbery was “more scary”.

“ This was cold hard steel on my forehead. I heard the guy cock the gun. He said: ‘I’m gonna blow your head off.’”

Security guards and others saw them, hands in the air, but did nothing to help, he said. Two policemen from the Brixton Police Station arrived 45 minutes after they were called.

“When I asked them, ‘What took you so long’, they answered: ‘Stop quarrelling with us. We are not the ones who robbed you. We can leave if we want.’”

“They weren’t interested in their work and had no sympathy for us.”
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