Early on Tuesday evening, eNCA journalists Jeremy Maggs and Thulasizwe Simelane were discussing the events that had taken place earlier that day at Wits University, which saw running battles between protesting students and security.
At least 31 students were arrested by police after they attempted to shut down the Braamfontein campus in protest at a possible 8% rise in fees for students from households rich enough not to require or qualify for loans from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
Students, however, were not satisfied with this and have been calling for free education.
Maggs, a news anchor and veteran media expert, was attempting to source the views of senior political reporter Simelane despite the strange behaviour of a man in the background of the university building, who started off by banging a pair of bricks together and muttering to himself. A large-framed gentleman in an orange gym top had earlier tried to keep the “student” away from the journalists, but he eventually stood to one side, apparently content to let the so-called student do whatever it was he seemed to be trying to do for the benefit of the camera.
Watch the video below:
He made strange expressions and appeared highly agitated. He also tried to take off his shirt. It’s possible he was trying to demonstrate injuries, perhaps sustained from earlier in the day.
Simelane did his best to deliver the story of the day as professionally and calmly as possible, and did so as an absolute pro. At no point, did he or Maggs even look at the student. One may even have been forgiven for thinking that they weren’t aware of the man.
However, the end result was that Maggs decided to cut the broadcast short, citing the “antics” of the student.
The situation at one point looked genuinely dangerous. Back in studio, news anchor Iman Rappetti commented on the difficulties that reporters sometimes had to face in the field.