Johannesburg – While filming a music video in Namibia, musician Riaan Smit fell victim to a robbery that left him battered and in need of reconstructive surgery.
The singer, who fronts Cape Town-based band Crimson House, was on tour in Namibia alongside violinist Luca Hart when he decided to shoot an impromptu music video, calling on the help of his friends who own the production company Endemic Productions.
Speaking to The Juice, the singer’s agent Marinette Potgieter says Smit, Hart, and three members of the Endemic Production crew [two men and a woman] were on set in Elisenheim, just outside of Windhoek on Friday 17 November when the incident took place.
She explains what happened. “A group of five people with balaclavas and knives just ambushed them unexpectedly. So, it looked like they were going for the girls. Riaan just said they seemed to move in their direction, they had their sights set on the girls and that’s when he jumped in front of them and then they punched him and then they stabbed him with a knife in the arm, I think he fell to the ground.”
According to Potgieter, the situation escalated when Smit jumped to the defense of the two women for a second time, trying to protect them from the assailants.
“They started to go for the girls again and he jumped in front of them again, and then that’s when they picked up a brick and then hit him with the brick in the face. He fell to the ground and the people just made off with all of Endemic Productions video equipment, and Luca’s mandolin – like an antique, sentimental mandolin. And they stole Riaan’s pants off of his body, and his shoes, and Luca’s shoes. I think they stole everybody’s shoes. As far as I know one of the [Endemic Production] crew members also got hit.”
News outlet, The Namibian reported that equipment and other items worth N$500 000 was taken from the scene. In an update on the situation, Potgieter says a large number of the stolen goods has now been recovered by police along with at least two suspects.
Echoing that statement, Smit himself shared a post on his Facebook account, writing: “GOOD NEWS!! 2 of the guys were caught! They reckon the others will follow, a lot of the gear was found, but there are some missing items from the huge list. we will update on whats still missing (sic).”
As for Smit’s condition, he is at home preparing to go into surgery on Wednesday. “He’s going for an operation tomorrow for reconstructive surgery to his upper jaw and his eye socket. And he’s got to realign his jaw. At the moment, he can’t close his mouth completely and it’s like very skewed,” Potgieter tells us, adding that it’s likely Smit will have to undergo a number of procedures.
"He can't eat any solid food. He's eating everything through a straw at the moment," she adds.