Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Death on a treadmill

This morning a man working out at the Southgate Virgin Active gym died on a treadmill.
One of the people working out there called the paper to say that this had happened. So I scooted off there with PixEditor, who was sure this was going to be one of those difficult situations.
And so it was.
We arrived at the gym and there, through the front windows, we did indeed see a body on the floor next to a treadmill. It had been covered with one of those silver space blanket jobs, and there was a mobile screen placed next to it - but even the very presence of death was not going to stop the fitness fanatics of the south from getting their morning workout. The rest of the treadmills were buzzing as the gym bunnies did their thing.
The cops were on hand going about investigations - photographing the body and talking to people.
So we entered the front door and encountered the general manager who explained, as one could so easily predict, that he could tell us nothing. They were checking with their lawyers, running their bland statement by a billion top managers for clearance and so we could expect a comment sometime later in the day.
We left. But then PixEd decided to turn back and shoot some images through the glass. This annoyed the gym staff highly and they came storming out, ready to kick butt. The confiscated the camera and stomped off back inside where they handed it to the cops.
PixEd was highy irate by this time, I was on the phone to the newsdesk and the newsdesk got hold of the lawyers. A whole bunch of intricate wranglings went on and the upshot was that PixEd was made to erase his pictures and leave without his R80 000 camera, now in the hands of the police.
We've had to make statements to our lawyers who now have to go the legal route to get the camera returned.
But it seems the story was popular. A mere half-an-hour after my short little news piece went online it had received 3000 hits.
Who would have thought?


  1. What the heck! What gives them the right to confiscate the camera. You need to take your bodyguards with you when you cover a story. Anybody could have taken a pic with a cellphone even. Thats bull. There was nothing you could see even with the person being covered up.

  2. Yip. Well - the lawyers are now trying to get the camera back. Seems the cops can do what they want! We can only fight them with the law. Ironically, they don't seem to know the law because their actions were illegal.

  3. Hell... I hope he gets his camera back! Thats really kak!
    I think Virgin's arse is covered. I mean, I'm overweight and asthmatic, I'm not at death's door nor on a ventilator or anything but I had to get a letter from my doctor saying it was okay for me to train!