Carte Blanche armed robbery

Photo: Pixabay

Carte Blanche crew “held at gunpoint” and robbed while filming

The Carte Blanche team – famous for reporting news stories – became their own subject recently, when they were the victims of an on-shoot armed robbery.

Carte Blanche armed robbery

Photo: Pixabay

A guest presenter for Carte Blanche has opened up about their harrowing experience on-location after Masa Kekana revealed that she and her crew were targeted in an armed robbery.

The production crew were filming a segment about the introduction of more CCTV cameras in Johannesburg. They were debating the moral dilemma of sacrificing our civil liberties if it meant feeling a little safer on the streets. Sadly, a darkly ironic twist made them confront this issue head-on.

Carte Blanche host recalls “traumatic” robbery

According to Kekana, their cameras, laptops and phones were stolen by the armed thieves. She described the experience as a traumatic one, and detailed the way the robbers callously operated:

“What are the odds, while covering a story on security surveillance cameras, of us getting robbed of our camera equipment, laptops and cell phones? It was one of the scariest moments to see strangers walk into the producers’ house, carrying a gun.”

“According to the footage we saw after the robbery, the guys drove around us a few times, then two of them were dropped off where they stood under a tree and watched us film the interview. In that way, they had time to assess us, how many of us there were, whether we could be armed, what the possible threats would be. Gathering information.” 

Masa Kekana, Carte Blanche

The pros and cons of CCTV networks

The incident took place in Blairgowrie, a small region to the west of Sandton in Gauteng. The area has already started erecting its own poles for CCTV cameras, even though the local Neighbourhood Residents Association are yet to agree to their installation.

Vumacom is the operator of the camera systems. They sell off the feeds to private security companies who end up buying the rights to monitor certain locations in each region. The company have big plans to roll out CCTV systems across the whole of Johannesburg but have ruled out working in townships.

A lack of private security companies and money for maintenance means the people who need this the most aren’t likely to receive it. Despite the fears raised by Carte Blanche over what a city-wide CCTV roll-out would mean for the personal space of citizens, it could well be the next logical step in tackling South Africa’s relentless crime rates.