Party members picket at the eNCA offices and other centres across the country. PHOTO: ANC/Twitter


ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte has handed over a memorandum of demands to eNCA’s managing director Norman Munzhelele after management’s defense of the organisation’s political journalist, Lindsay Dentlinger..

Duarte was leading a small group of ANC members who picketed outside eNCA offices in Johannesburg against racism.

They held placards saying: “Only racists can defend and justify racism”.

Earlier, Duarte said the nationwide pickets at the eNCA offices follows the widely publicized racial conduct of eNCA journalist as well as the subsequent justification of such “deplorable” conduct by the eNCA management.

Dentlinger is at the centre of a racism storm after video footage of her interviews with Freedom Front Plus leader, Pieter Groenewald, and the DA’s John Steenhuisen without their masks on, while she requested several black political leaders, including UDM Chief Whip Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, to keep theirs on went viral on social media.

Dentlinger has since apologised for the ‘mask’ saga on Monday during an interview with eNCA’s Power To The Truth With JJ Tabane programme.

“I totally acknowledge the outrage and I apologise for the disrespect it has caused to the people who don’t deserve to be drawn into this,” Dentlinger said.

“I felt awful from how this is perceived and what the country believes to be a true reflection of who I am as a journalist. I do acknowledge how it is portrayed. I am being portrayed as not speaking to any black unless he is wearing a mask.”

However, Duarte hit back during the march and said: “It doesn’t matter if you are black or white. If you express yourself in racist terms you are offensive to the people of South Africa. We have suffered for many, many years, we don’t need a repeat.”

In the memorandum of demands, the ANC said South Africans are justifiably enraged by Dentlinger’s pattern of behaviour in which she comfortably interviews white politicians without masks on, but as soon as she sees black politicians, she suddenly remembers that coronavirus exists.

“This is an insult to all black people. It is consistent with the white supremacist mentality that has historically associated black people with disease and dirt. We remind her and her managers that COVID-19 is not a black pandemic,” the ANC said.

The ANC demanded that the eNCA withdraw the offensive statement in which they defended Dentlinger with immediate effect.

The party also demanded that eNCA must publicly acknowledge its history of mistreating its black journalists, some of whom have been forced out by the racially intolerable conditions at eNCA.

 The party further said it demanded a response to the above list of demands within 14 days of receipt of the memorandum.


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