Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tshepo Incident over discretion of presidential convoy's number plates

SHOOT: He was asked to delete photos that would have identified the security vehicle plates. Wouldn't it be in the public interest if vehicles owned by government and leaders we have elected identify themselves as such. Because they should answer to the electorate - instead, it seems, they appear to be trying to insure security against the electorate. IOW - security against their own citizens...

This was my Tuesday morning. More importantly, it was Tshepo Lesole’s Tuesday morning. He’s an online reporter for Eyewitness News. In other words, he does the multimedia stuff for the EWN site. He’s a young guy, but tough as nails. And he wasn’t expecting what happened on Tuesday.

I’ve seen it before. It was at an ANC event at Esselen Park. I’d taken a picture on my cellphone of a VIP car that appeared to have mysteriously lost its number plates. It was also two or three big men, holding me, shouting and screaming. But that time I was lucky. Carl Niehaus emerged from a door, took one look, tapped the main guard on the shoulder and said, “Please go inside, my comrade”. To my eternal surprise, he did. Niehaus held out his hand, and said, “Oh Stephen, I’m sorry about that, please accept my apology”. And that was that. When I saw the guard about an hour later, he wasn’t even rude.

This time was different.

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