VETERAN SABC TV news reporter Njanji Chauke, who usually reports on victims of crime, almost lost his own life while jogging on Friday morning.
The avid runner, who turned 46 on Monday, says his life flashed before his eyes as two men swung a knife and a panga at him in Northriding, north of Joburg.
Chauke said he usually takes the Northumberland Road from his Sandown home, north of Joburg, towards the Crossfit gym at 4am at least three times a week.
He said he had been training for and ran his first Pirates 21km race a few weeks ago.
God prepared me for this moment. I had to run for my life,” he said. Chauke said the two men came out of nowhere and when he heard footsteps behind him, he thought they were fellow joggers.
But to his shock, he was accosted by two men, one with a knife and one with a panga.
I was now running backwards facing them, asking them what they wanted and offering them my cellphone, headphones, even my small towel. But they never uttered a single word. They were just coming at me with those weapons. I have a cut on my nose and a few minor scratches on my left arm,” he said.
The journalist, who grew up in Soshanguve, said he was always surrounded by thugs but the sight of the panga scared the living daylights out of him.
I kept having flashbacks of my wife and three daughters. The youngest is not even three years old yet,” he said.
Chauke tried seeking the help of passing cars to no avail.
I prayed all the while and just ran faster and when I looked back I had outrun these two men who I think wanted to kill me because they did not take anything from me. They were also filled with rage like mad men who had a grudge against me,” he said.
Once he reached the nearest filling station, he called the police and a close friend.
I didn’t want to wake my wife up and scare her. I am just happy I m alive to warn other joggers. I will continue running but will change my schedule.”