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Pretoria photographer’s camera stolen at Boke game

Kotze’s camera was stolen right out of his bag in the media room

Two sports photographers had their camera gear stolen on Saturday evening after the New Zealand vs South Africa rugby match at Ellis Park.

Christiaan Kotze said his camera was stolen right out of his bag while he was in the media room after the match.

Kotze had photographed former All Blacks players Jeff Wilson and Ma’a Nonu had interviewed the team’s coach, Ian Voster.

“From here I raced to the media room to edit my photographs that would be sent out to media clients around the world,” said Kotze.

“I had one last job to photograph and that was to shoot the Springboks and All Blacks’ press conferences after the match.

“I took one camera and a lens and dashed off to the auditorium to cover the press conference,” he said.

When Kotze returned to the media room, he could see people were visibly distressed as another photographer, Johan Reinder, had had his lens stolen out of his camera bag.

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Panicking, Kotze immediately checked his own camera bag and saw that his Nikon Z6 camera, valued at R40 000, was missing.

“As a freelance photographer, this is my livelihood and now I am without a camera to do my work,” Kotze said.

Saturday was a very special day for Kotze and marked a significant milestone in his career.

“It was almost 30 years ago to the day that I photographed my first Springbok test,” he said.

“On 15 August, 1992, the Springboks also played the All Blacks at Ellis Park.”

However this experience was completely marred by the theft of his camera.

“It’s really a sad indictment of our country that you can’t do your job at an event like this without having to worry about being a victim of some sort of crime.”

Kotze reported the incident to the Waverley police station on Sunday afternoon and they have opened an investigation.

“I hope something comes from this and that they do a proper investigation.

“Right now I have to worry about getting a new camera, which won’t be easy,” Kotze told Rekord.

Ellis Park stadium management was not available for comment at the time of publication.

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