Twitter on Friday questioned what may have motivated a decision by eNCA to remove its footage taken at an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) briefing on Thursday, and which the news channel streamed live on its website.
So @eNCA decided to deleted #EFFMediaBriefing video on @YouTube ,we see with your political party tendencies we see you ????@EFFSouthAfrica @Julius_S_Malema @MandisaMashego @jiyane_kabelo pic.twitter.com/dZifrzn0b3
— Ezekiel Moroana (@ezekiel_moroana) July 6, 2018
The tweet was retweeted by EFF leader Julius Malema, who on Thursday said the EFF was the enemy of eNCA owing to the fact that “we challenge Ramaphosa”. He also alleged that the channel was “a political party because “they sell Ramaphosa as their president”.
However, when we checked, we found the video was still working and available to be watched. The full press conference was also still up on eNCA’s website. Take a look for yourself.
It’s likely that it was either a technical fault or eNCA restored it.
Thursday was not the first time the EFF has been antagonistic towards the channel.
In March, the SA National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) condemned “inflammatory remarks” made by Malema on social media about eNCA, which had allegedly led to threats being made against journalists working at the broadcaster.
He had accused eNCA of advocating an “anti-black agenda” and supporting white supremacy.
Sanef said at the time that it recognised and supported Malema’s right to criticise media houses and engage editors in robust debates about news, but “spurious and inflammatory remarks” could endanger journalists.
eNCA’s editor-in-chief, Mapi Mhlangu, said: “Despite our relatively small size as a news organisation, we have consistently dedicated our limited resources to stories which have put justice, equality and human rights at the centre of our news, in line with our insistence that we offer news without fear or favour.
“Our staff have consistently told stories about what is broken in this country, how it can be fixed and how we can make each other accountable.”
She added that Malema’s allegations about the ownership of eNCA were not true, since the channel’s majority stakeholder was a black-empowerment company, Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), and of that a significant share of eMedia was held by the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union.
“Additionally, the staff members at eNCA are representative of the diversity of people who make up contemporary South Africa, who bring to their work divergent political views and social experiences, which inform our storytelling in ways which South Africans have appreciated to the extent of making us the most-watched channel among news viewers.”
Sanef advised those with complaints about eNCA’s editorial coverage to lodge them with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA or the Press Council for the channel’s online content.