JOHANNESBURG – While 24-hour news channel eNCA investigates its head of news Kanthan Pillay after allegations of editorial interference, the South African Communist Party (SACP) on Thursday said his actions had already damaged the integrity of the media.
Pillay was forced to apologise to journalist Samkele Maseko and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
After Maseko resigned from the news channel this week, Pillay posted a tweet in which he appeared to compare him to a rat and the SABC to a sinking ship.
This prompted Maseko, who will be joining the public broadcaster next year, to reveal allegations of censorship by Pillay.
There were calls for eNCA to fire Pillay, who this year led the Capitalist Party of South Africa – otherwise known as the “Purple Cow” – to the polls.
“This racist reaction is an insult to Africans in particular. It is completely unacceptable and must have no place in our society. The SACP condemns it in the strongest terms possible. eNCA must apologise to South Africans, get to the bottom of the matter and get rid of Pillay,” the SACP said in a statement.
“The SACP will continue pushing media transformation and the struggle for a non-racial society.”
Other political parties have weighed in on the matter calling for Pillay’s head.
The South African National Editors’ Forum also asked for a meeting with eNCA.