eNCA takes Barnes off air over Motshekga quip
On Tuesday, Barnes passed a comment on the minister’s mispronunciation of an English term.
JOHANNESBURG - eNews Channel Africa's (eNCA) news anchor Andrew Barnes has been taken off air pending a disciplinary hearing.
The lead anchor found himself in hot water for his comment on Minister Angie Motshekga's mispronunciation of an English term while extracts of the minister's matric results speech was broadcast on Tuesday.
The news channel took to social media to distance itself from Barnes's comment, saying it was in poor taste.
Today 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.— eNCA (@eNCA) January 6, 2016
Barnes has since apologised for his conduct on Twitter.
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.
- Andrew Barnes (@andrewTbarnes) January 6, 2016
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.
"His comments were not only hurtful and unnecessary, but deeply insensitive. eNCA apologises for his comments. We remain committed to honest, fair, accurate and unbiased reporting."
This incident comes on the back of a heated public debate on racism is South Africa, after economist Chris Hart and Penny Sparrow used their social media voices in what was received as racist commentary.
Standard Bank has suspended Hart while a disciplinary hearing into his conduct is under way.