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Disciplinary process against eNCA’s Andrew Barnes underway

Barnes was taken off air for his comments about Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

FILE. eNews anchor Andrew Barnes. Picture: Screengrab

JOHANNESBURG - A disciplinary process has begun against senior eNews Channel Africa (eNCA)'s news anchor Andrew Barnes, who was taken off air for his comments about Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga's pronunciation of 'epitome'.

Hi @andrewTbarnes you mocked Min Angie's inability to pronounce an English word,R u able to pronounce her surname ? pic.twitter.com/Nh9pEhaLmA

The news channel took to social media to distance itself from Barnes's comment, saying it was in poor taste.

Yesterday, the broadcaster confirmed disciplinary measures against Barnes have begun.

eNCA is aware of Andrew Barnes' comment. His quip was in poor taste and management will address this. We apologise unreservedly.

Barnes has since apologised for the comment.

My heartfelt apologies for the hurtful comment I made about the Education Minister's English today. You all expect more of me. I'm sorry.

A video has been released on the broadcaster's website with Barnes apologising.

In it he says, "I realise now that the comment caused a lot of hurt and offence because ultimately it was unfair and insensitive. To those of you at home and to Minister Motshekga, I am sorry."

News Director Mapi Mhlangu says the broadcaster is following due labour process.

Meanwhile, the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has applauded eNCA for how it's dealt with the Barnes Twitter storm.

Sanef chair Mpumelelo Mkhabela says, "We think it was swift enough to deal with the matter. We eagerly await the outcome. We think the manner in which eNCA responded and the manner in which he responded gives hope that the matter can be settled."

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