The main cameraman of Miners Shot Down‚ the documentary on the Marikana massacre‚ was attacked by a student during a Rhodes Must Fall Exhibition in Cape Town.
Cinematographer Nic Hofmeyr‚ 56‚ who works for Uhuru Productions‚ suffered mild concussion after a student attacked him at the Centre for African Studies Gallery on the University of Cape Town's upper campus.
The production company is making a movie about the student movement.
What started off as a "fun‚ theatrical‚ evocative" march before the commemoration of the Rhodes Must Fall anniversary‚ turned into chaos on Wednesday‚ said Hofmeyr.
"I am in the gallery getting pictures of the exhibits while the Rhodes Must Fall students are outside. Some people are running semi-naked and bodies are painted and I think this is another element of the theatrical proceedings or another stage act to evoke something.
"But then I look at the placards and they are criticising RMF. The penny drops that this is an intervention‚" said Hofmeyr.
Members of UCT Trans Collective - which supports rights of transgender‚ gender non-conforming and intersex students - stormed into the gallery naked and smeared red paint on photographic exhibits.
"One of the Trans Collective activists runs out and grabs the megaphone and effectively hijacks the event‚ criticising Rhodes Must Fall and the exhibition‚ saying that they don’t want to be part of the exhibition‚" said Hofmeyr.
Women from the RMF movement asked Hofmeyr to stop filming and he was escorted out. He decided to return to get one last shot moments later.
Again‚ he was asked to leave. "I walk away and four steps later there is a huge impact‚ a bang on the left hand side of my head and I am dazed … an angry man's face looks at me and shakes his fists at me. I am 56 years old‚ not a youngster."
Hofmeyr reported the incident to the university and the movement‚ which has since apologised for what took place.
He added: "We sympathise with the student movement. But journalists should be able to cover an event without their safety being threatened."
- TMG Digital/Sunday Times