eNCA news editor Kanthan Pillay apologises to Samkele Maseko, SABC over 'rats running towards sinking ship' tweet

2019-12-19 18:13
Samkele Maseko and Kanthan Pillay. (Twitter/News24)

Samkele Maseko and Kanthan Pillay. (Twitter/News24)

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News channel eNCA said on Thursday its embattled news editor Kanthan Pillay has apologised for his tweet regarding former eNCA political journalist Samkele Maseko.

Pillay said he would undergo a disciplinary hearing and abide by the outcome of this process.

Following Maseko's resignation from eNCA, Pillay posted a tweet, saying "rats" were running towards a "sinking ship", apparently referring to Maseko.

It is understood he will take up a position at the SABC next year.

In an email, eNCA's managing editor, Jeremy Maggs, said: "Kanthan posted an ill-advised tweet about Samkele Maseko's resignation and implied that [the] SABC was a sinking ship.

"I have spent the better part of the day in conversation with the e-Media Investments exco and members of our holding company. Kanthan will shortly issue a formal apology to Samkele, all staff at the channel as well as the SABC."

IN TWEETS: Personalities and public react to Samkele Maseko's tiff with eNCA's Kanthan Pillay who is now facing a disciplinary hearing

Maggs added the allegations raised by Maseko concerning Pillay's alleged censoring and interference in the newsroom, were "serious".

"We are not in the business of censoring stories but conversely also apply strict gatekeeping rules of fairness, impartiality and right of reply."

He added he would be reviewing stories to see if these standards were applied, and possibly bring in external assistance in this regard.

'Unreserved apology'

"I ask you to allow due process to take place and be assured the channel is taking this very seriously," Maggs said.

In a separate email, Pillay expressed his "unreserved apology" regarding his tweet.

"I hereby express my unreserved apology to all who were offended by my irresponsible and ill-conceived statement.

"I deeply regret the statement I made and retract it in its entirety."

Pillay apologised to Maseko, the SABC and management of eMedia.

"The action I took in haste and without thinking, which now places my employer, my colleagues, my family and my friends in a most embarrassing position."

He added the matter would be "further discussed" and he would abide by of the outcome of these discussions.

"I regret having been drawn into a Twitter war and I ask for your understanding with the knowledge that I [am] deeply remorseful for my actions," Pillay said.

Read more on:    enca  |  kanthan pillay  |  samkele maseko  |  journalism  |  media
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