SABC apologises to Ndlozi and EFF

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

The SABC on Wednesday came out apologising to EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and the EFF for the “unfortunate manner” he was treated by the broadcaster’s presenter.

On Thursday last week, SABC’s Newsroom presenter Eben Jansen was taken off air after he lost his cool during an interview session with Nldozi. “The behaviour of the host, Mr Eben Jansen, was completely uncalled for and unprofessional,” SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said.  Speaking on the debate over the country’s statues, Jansen was asking Ndlozi what made the EFF’s protest different from historical attempts by one group to delete the history of another.

“Your question is fundamentally wrong,” replied Ndlozi.

As Ndlozi tried to explain, Jansen interrupted.

“I’m trying to demonstrate the intellectual bankruptcy of your question,” Ndlozi said. It was merely a question of the removal of statues, not of history, Ndlozi explained.

Jansen further accused Ndlozi of “hijacking a student protest” when referring to the removal of Cecil John Rhodes statue at UCT. “Actually I am not going to allow you to speak anymore because we can’t have a conversation, let’s move on,” said Jansen before cutting Ndlozi off.

Kganyago said the SABC had instituted disciplinary measures against Jansen. He said this was to “ensure that Mr Jansen understands the severity of his transgression”.

“The SABC will not tolerate the kind of behaviour that was meted out to Mr Ndlozi. While it is appreciated that Mr Jansen has apologised for his poor professional conduct, corrective measures have been taken to ensure that such an incident never occurs again in the future,” said the Group Executive for News Jimi Matthews.

Kganyago said Jansen would not be presenting the Newsroom programme until the news management deemed it appropriate for his return.

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