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Cosatu calls for eNCA to fire embattled news boss Kanthan Pillay

The news channel on Thursday said it was investigating Pillay after he took to Twitter comparing senior political journalist Samkele Maseko to a rat and the SABC to a sinking ship.

Kanthan Pillay. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has on Friday added its voice to growing calls for the axing of eNCA head of news Kanthan Pillay.

The news channel on Thursday said it was investigating Pillay after he took to Twitter comparing senior political journalist Samkele Maseko to a rat and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to a sinking ship.

This came after Maseko resigned from eNCA and announced that he would be joining the public broadcaster.

On Thursday, Pillay apologised to Maseko, his colleagues, and the SABC.

Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said that was not good enough.

“What he has exposed is a situation where we now doubt whether what is being done to hold the powerful accountable is actually honest. What we are witnessing here is a political power play and our position as the federation is that if eNCA wants to gain some credibility, they need to get rid of this man,” Pamla said.

Meanwhile, Maseko on Friday said the conversation on employee rights should be opened up to the entire corporate environment and not just the media fraternity.

He was speaking during an interview on the Eusebius McKaiser Show on 702.

Maseko said corporate culture for all industries needs to be revisited.

“Not just in the private sector but also the public sector. It’s not only an issue of the media fraternity but corporate South Africa as a whole and the world,” he said.

At the same time, the African National Congress (ANC) said it was shocked by censorship allegations at eNCA and wanted the Human Rights Commission and Press Ombudsman to probe the abuse of journalists in newsrooms.

The governing party also called on journalists at the channel who've been ill-treated to speak out.

“The suppression of journalists in the newsroom and the deafening silence is tantamount to the silencing of press freedom, which the media demands but dismally fails to uphold in relation to their own journalists,” ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said.

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