eNCA News Chief Kanthan Pillay has apologised to political journalist Samkele Maseko for his statements on Twitter on Wednesday. In a tweet that drew much criticism, Pillay wrote: rats swimming toward a sinking ship #EarlyXmasGift,” which was widely believed to be in reference to eNCA employees joining the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The two exchanged tweets with Maseko alleging that Pillay had censored stories in the newsroom.

Pillay also apologised to the SABC.

“I regret further and apologise unreservedly for: The offence caused to all and specifically to Mr Maseko, the SABC and the Management of eMedia,” Pillay outlined in a statement.

Maseko has since left the news channel.

Different organisations, including the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) and Right2Know Campaign have expressed concerns over media freedom in South Africa following Maseko’s allegations.