Reporter apologises to minister

2009-05-14 09:59

Johannesburg - Eyewitness News reporter Jean-Jacques Cornish has apologised to the new Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, for his comment that she had in her "only made babies" in her last diplomatic post.

Cornish, who reports for 702 Talk Radio and Highveld Stereo, also hosts the Africa Report during John Robbie's programme on 702 Talk Radio.

He said on air on Wednesday that he was sorry about what he had said about the minister's personal life.

"I accept that it was inappropriate to discuss matters of procreation relating to the minister - or any woman," he said, and added that he apologised unconditionally to anyone whom he might have offended.

According to a 702 Talk Radio statement, the station would ask to meet the minister so Cornish could formally apologise.

Nkoana-Mashabane was the South African High Commissioner in Malaysia from 1995 to 1999, and between 1999 and 2005 she held the same position in India.

Women's rights organisations described Cornish's comments as "sexist" and "insulting".

"It is extremely insensitive to make such comments about the minister's personal life," said Lebo Marishane of Women's Net, a women's empowerment organisation.