The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has learned with shock, the continuation of the ill-treatment of journalists at eNCA. The recent twitter war between social media and the eNCA Head of News. Mr Kanthan Pillay for referring to Samkelo Maseko as a rat, has left us disgusted. The ill-treatment to Mr. Maseko was not only practiced on social media but at the workplace too, where he was escorted out of a building like a criminal after he was expelled. Other serious allegations include racism at eNCA and censorship of which both go against the principles of journalism and news reporting institutions. These developments are not new at the news stations. We are rudely reminded on how Ms. Nontobeko Sibisi was dismissed following the doek saga, and how Thulasizwe Simelane and Cathy Mohlahlane were ill-treated whilst serving their notice of employment contract termination.
We, therefore, welcome the initiative by the news channel to investigate on issues of censorship and ill-treatment of the staff. We are further calling for the investigation of racism and also to deal harshly with those who will be found on the wrong side of the law. We further express our happiness for the dismissal of a self proclaimed, anti-transformation champion; Mr. Kanthan Pillay as the Head of News at the eNCA. We are saying people like Mr. Pillay have no room in the media and broadcasting industry in South Africa, and any media institute that will employ him will be declaring war against CWU. We agree with our mother body COSATU, that he had reduced a news room to be a small cult-like, where power lies solely with him.
CWU finds the suspension of Ms Khayelihle Khumalo to be shocking and goes against all the principles of freedom of expression and bordering on the lines of censorship. The letter expressed that the suspension of Khumalo was effected after she used her twitter account to talk about the Conference of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which goes against the station’s baseless position which was not to air the EFF’s conference. We therefore call for the withdrawal of Ms. Khumalo’s suspension with immediate effect. CWU will seek an audience with the management of the eNCA, with a view that we will be able to resolve these matters amicably. Furthermore, we believe that eNCA as an institution, needs to be protected from those who are destroying it from within by tarnishing the image of the profession.
Issued by the Office of the General Secretary
CWU General Secretary
Cell: 061 481 1080