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BCCSA orders SABC News to apologise to EFF

2015-04-29 10:41

Cape Town – The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has ordered the SABC to apologise to the EFF political party on-air before Thursday afternoon following the live, on-air outburst by the now-removed SABC News (DStv 404) anchor and "Grand Inquisitor" Eben Jansen.

The SABC already apologised in writing earlier this month and already made an earlier on-air apology for the interview incident the SABC called "completely uncalled for and unprofessional" and which happened on The Newsroom on 9 April on the SABC's 24-hour TV news channel.

The Newsroom anchor Eben Jansen became confrontational with the EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi who was invited to the show as a guest and was then rudely dismissed after the interview quickly devolved into a FOX News style shouting match.

Viewers described the interview as "petty, childish and unprofessional", wondering why Eben Jansen is using words like "Red Indians" and his attitude described as "embarrassing and unprofessional".

Eben Jansen was taken off the SABC airwaves indefinitely following the verbal on-air outburst which went viral.

Viewer Jarred Cinman laid a complaint directly with the BCCSA, writing that Eben Jansen's on-air behaviour was "biased, unprofessional, rude and embarrassing" and that the on-air fighting "is not news: it is either journalistic incompetence or political bias".

‘Grand Inquisitor’

In a hearing BCCSA commissioner Dr. Lynda Gilfillan found that Ndlozi was "interrupted and ridiculed" and also denied the opportunity to answer questions.

Gilfillan said Jansen's "generally scornful demeanour and bullying behaviour could be described as grossly unprofessional. And the severity of his unprofessionalism puts it in breach of the BCCSA code".

Gilfillan said Eben Jansen came across as "apparently relishing his role of Grand Inquisitor" with the interview which was turned into "an inquisition rather than an inquiry".

The BCCSA ruled that the SABC and SABC News "cannot simply be let off with a slap on the wrist".

The BCCSA ordered the SABC and SABC News to broadcast an apology at the beginning of The Newsroom on the DStv news channel before Thursday.

Read more on:    sabc  |  eben jansen  |  news  |  tv

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