Cape Town – eNCA (DStv 403) has removed Andrew Barnes with immediate effect and started disciplinary measures against its senior anchor following his "deeply insensitive" remarks over basic education minister, Angie Motshekga's English pronunciation.
A social media firestorm engulfed the respected anchor of News Day on the Sabido-run TV news channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform on Wednesday when, after a video clip of the basic education minister, Andrew Barnes quipped that "maybe someone should have a word with the basic education minister on how to pronounce the word epitome".
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eNCA has taken Andrew Barnes off air with immediate effect . Amy MacIver is substituting on News Day on Thursday afternoon. While eNCA hasn't done a story about its own anchor's social media storm as it has frequently done in the past with similar stories and again earlier this week with real estate agent Penny Sparrow and her racist comments. eNCA is now running an on-air scroll in the bottom third saying "eNCA anchor Andrew Barnes offers heartfelt apology for hurtful comments about education minister".
In response to a media enquiry eNCA tells Channel24 that disciplinary proceedings are underway over the on-air incident, saying Andrew Barnes' comments were "not only hurtful and unnecessary but deeply insensitive".
"eNCA apologises for his comment and remains committed to honest, fair, accurate and unbiased reporting. Any action or statement from an employee that undermines that ethos is taken very seriously," says the news channel.
"We have begun disciplinary measures against Andrew Barnes. Andrew has been taken off air with an on-air apology to be broadcast this afternoon".
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