12 July 1996


Angry fans attack television crew, damage TV cameras

On 6 July 1996, about six thousand angry music fans attacked and
injured three members of a television crew when South African pop
music band Boom Shaka failed to turn up at a scheduled concert in
the capital, Windhoek. Angry fans stole one and irreparably
damaged two television cameras belonging to the Namibian
Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). The NBC says the three television
cameras are worth N$1.5 million (about US$ 349,000). Fans also
caused extensive damage to property in the stadium, and several
other people were reportedly injured. At least three media workers
were hospitalized for injuries sustained during the riot.

The NBC's Director General, Dan Tjongarero, confirmed the attack
and damage on the television crew and its equipment. Tjongarero
told MISA on 9 July that his office had commissioned an
investigation into the attack on the television crew and
equipment. A detailed report is expected to come out this week.
Tjongarero said the NBC also filed charges against promoters of
the concert for compensation.
Reports say there was inadequate security at the stadium to
protect persons and property. MISA feels the attack on the
journalists and their equipment could have been prevented if
police had carried out their public duty, and fears that if such
an incident is tolerated, police may not feel accountable
particularly for the security of journalists and their property.
Speaking to MISA on 10 July, the Deputy Inspector General of
Police, General Martin Pool, denied responsibility for the
inadequate security to protect the media workers, their equipment
and fans. "We were not requested by anybody to provide security at
the stadium. The damage caused lies solely on the shoulders of the
promoters," said General Pool. He, however, said there were six
police officers at the concert who had taken their own initiative
to monitor the event.

Recommended Action

Write to the Head of Namibian Police:

  • expressing concern that security deteriorated at the concert to
    the extent that journalists were attacked and their equipment,
  • pointing out that the incident and lack of security severely
    compromised the media's ability to carry out its work

    Appeals To

    Lucas Petrus Hangula
    Inspector General of Police
    Head Office and Security Branch
    Private Bag 12024
    c/o Lazarett & Jan Jonker Rd
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Tel: +264 61 230410
    Fax: +264 61 220621

    Please copy appeals to the originator if possible.
    For further information, David Lush or David Nthengwe at MISA,
    Private Bag 13386, Windhoek, Namibia, tel:+264 61 232975, fax:+264
    61 248016, e-mail: dlush@ingrid.misa.org.na, research@misa.org.na.

  • Source

    Media Institute of Southern Africa
    21 Johann Albrecht Street
    Private Bag 13386
    misaalerts (@) gmail.com
    Fax:+264 61 248016
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