UDM meets eNCA management over mask saga

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) says it has held a fruitful meeting with eNCA management over the conduct of the eNCA reporter, Lindsay Dentlinger, who was interviewing MPs in parliament.

She has been accused of racism after she told black MPs to wear masks before interviewing them while she did not do the same for white MPs.

UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa is one of the MPs who Dentlinger asked to wear a mask. Kwankwa says the party expects eNCA to now make a public apology.

“We made it clear to the eNCA leadership team that they managed the whole saga terribly, highlighting the fact that it seemed as if they were forced by the public and the uproar on social networks in order for them to apologise. They did indeed admit that mistakes were made and they used the meeting to extend an apology to the UDM. But obviously, an expectation from the party such as the UDM is that if the mistake was made public and if some of the statements were issued in public, the same apology should be made public at the time when it is relevant to do so.”

Nqabayomzi Kwankwa on eNCA mask saga:

ANC to submit complaint to BCCSA 

On Tuesday, African National Congress (ANC) members protested outside eNCA offices over the treatment of Members of Parliament by the journalists.

The ANC said it will submit a formal complaint to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa and the Human Rights Commission regarding the conduct of Dentlinger.

ANC’s Jessie Duarte has asked eNCA to take Dentlinger to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for training.

The eNCA’s Norman Nenzhelele received the ANC’s memorandum at the company’s Hyde Park headquarters, in Johannesburg, saying the company will be holding workshops with its staff members in a bid to avoid incidents like the mask debacle in the future.

Dentlinger has acknowledged the outrage and disrespect felt by some members of South African society. She said it was an oversight on her part not to ask the Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder to wear a mask as he was her first interview subject after the Finance Minister’s budget speech.

ANC Spokesperson Pule Mabe says, “Both Dentliger and eNCA have wronged our nation and undermined our collective efforts of building a nation on the values of equality and non-racialism.”

List of demands by ANC:

  • eNCA must withdraw the offensive statement in which they defended Dentlinger
  • eNCA to send an unconditional apology to all South Africans for the pain and hurt that Dentlinger and eNCA have caused
  • eNCA to send its journalists and management to human rights training to learn the values of equality and non-racialism
  • eNCA must publicly acknowledge its history of mistreating its black journalists, some of whom have been forced out by the racially intolerable conditions at eNCA.
  • eNCA to issue an unambiguous commitment that it will no longer tolerate racism within its ranks and to do something practical that will demonstrate genuine remorse on its part.
  • The leadership and journalists of eNCA to engage in a process of thorough soul-searching and to confront their own racism and racial prejudice