The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Parliament says it will be lodging a formal complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against the African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), for what it calls a race baiting by the two political parties.
The move follows the infamous video, which has been circulating on social media showing how an eNCA senior journalist Lindsay Dentlinger had conducted herself when interviewing Black and White Members of Parliament, with regard to the wearing of the masks.
Dentlinger is seen asking Black MPs to put their masks on while she had not asked their White counterparts to do the same when interviewing them.
EFF and ANC have since made various pronouncements, criticising Dentlinger as racist.
DA Chief Whip, Natasha Mazzone, says the parties exploited racial tensions among South Africans, without reviewing evidence.
“It has now emerged that parts of the video came from much older interviews – some of which were conducted before the pandemic or before wearing masks were mandated. This explains fully why some MPs were not wearing masks during some interviews, while others were asked to do so. Earlier clips were used selectively in the montage to purport that white MPs were not asked to wear masks while black MPs were,” she says.
The DA says both the ANC and EFF have intentionally fed into the racism narrative to stir up tensions and play a very dangerous game – “a game they have been playing for years without shame.”
Mazzone says while the DA believes that racism and discrimination should be condemned without fear or favour, the race baiting by the ANC and EFF has no place within South Africa’s democratic society.
Gauteng ANC stages a protest at the ENCA headquarters over racism allegations:
eNCA has thrown its weight behind its reporter, saying she did not mean any malice.
The company also rejected the claims against Dentlinger as unfair and not a true reflection of the journalists at the channel.
It has also committed to educate its media practitioners on the racial matters:
UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa was one of the MPs who were asked to wear his mask by Dentlinger.
In the video below, he airs his views on the mask furore: