JUST IN: Crowdfunding campaign raises enough money to cover suspended Barry Bateman's salary

accreditation
Reporter Barry Bateman is seen at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court. (James Oatway, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)
Reporter Barry Bateman is seen at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court. (James Oatway, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

EWN reporter Barry Bateman will be able to pay his bills at the end of the month after a "crowdfunding" campaign managed to raise enough money to cover his salary. 

Bateman was caught on camera calling Julius Malema a p**s following a briefing by the EFF leader outside the Hawks' offices on September 10, News24 previously reported.

He was pulled off air after a video of the incident went viral. Bateman and EWN have since apologised for the incident and Bateman was suspended for one month without pay. 

READ | EWN journalist Barry Bateman apologises to EFF's Julius Malema, women for using p-word

According to Times Live, medical doctor and co-founder of radio show Renegade Report, Jonathan Witt, tweeted details of the crowdfunding effort on Tuesday.

"My friend, and journalist, @barrybateman has been suspended without pay following an incident last month for which he has apologised. If you're able to help him make ends meet this month please consider making a donation," he tweeted.

Witt earlier tweeted: "So it appears as if EWN forced an apology out of Barry Bateman, they dare not piss off their friends in the EFF. An apology to a bunch of fascists is one thing, suspending a top journalist who has a family to support without pay is another entirely. Sad state of affairs." 

The tweet contained Bateman's bank account details. 

By Wednesday morning, Witt tweeted that enough money had been donated to cover Bateman's monthly expenses. 

"I have deleted my tweet about the crowdfunding for @barrybateman. A target has been reached which is in line with his monthly salary, and as a result no further funds are required. Thank you to everyone who so generously contributed," Witt tweeted at around 05:30. 

At the briefing, the EFF leader was addressing the media after he met with the Hawks at their offices, where he was scheduled to deliver a warning statement. Malema believed that the charges were politically motivated.

In an exchange with Bateman, the EFF leader was asked if he attacked a police officer at the funeral of late struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

He responded in summary: "If that is an attack, I take it."

Malema then addressed Bateman directly: "I wish I did that, I wish I assaulted him. Now that it's a real issue, I wish I did the real thing, proper. I regret not doing it. So that I deal with real stuff. Me, I'm not scared boet, uniform or no uniform. Afrikaner or no Afrikaner. White or pink, I deal with you decisively."

Bateman used the expletive after Malema walked off.

ALSO READ | Journalist Barry Bateman pulled from air after expletive aimed at Malema, EFF rejects apology

Primedia has since given Bateman a one-month suspension without pay in October and a final written warning, which is valid for 12 months, according to the journalist.

EWN Editor-in-chief Mahlatse Mahlase confirmed that the suspension began on October 15. It will be completed after a month.

Bateman has accepted the action taken against him and maintains that his conduct was "unjustifiable".

"I remain committed to the principles and ethos of esteemed journalism profession, which is critical to strengthening a democratic South Africa through accountable and responsible media," he said.

The EFF has not accepted EWN's apology. 

Bateman would not comment on the crowdfunding campaign, Times Live reported. 

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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