Thursday, June 2, 2016

EFF political party slams eNCA news channel on DStv over ban of the 'doek' as eNCA says its started 'an internal process' about on-air appearance policy.

The Economic Freedom Front (EFF) political party on Thursday slammed the eNCA (DStv 403) TV news channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform for its banning of female reporters wearing a "doek", as eNCA said it has started "an internal process" to relook its on-air appearance policy.

The doek drama exploded on Tuesday when eNCA reporter Nontobeko Sibisi in a scathing letter slammed her employer, alleging that an insert she did for Africa Day last Wednesday was canned because she appeared in it, wearing the head covering that's apparently not allowed.

eNCA has not been clear about whether this is the reason why Nontobeko Sibisi's story has been taken off air by a sub editor or whether its because something else was wrong with the story but the issue did ignite public comment - especially on Thursday from social media users.

In apparent solidarity with Nontobeko Sibisi, on Thursday eNCA anchor Iman Rappetti donned a red doek (not on air) while other eNCA reporters were seen in a doek selfie.

Meanwhile the EFF in a statement on Thursday said eNCA's banning of the doek is worse than the SABC's censorship of protest coverage on SABC News.

The EFF slammed eNCA for allegedly remaining "trapped in the colonial mode of aesthetic representation of black people" and that it's "a colonial anti-black racist denial of African aesthetic expression".

The EFF said that "eNCA is saying wearing a doek, which is a famous popular wear for African women, religious and otherwise, is not aesthetically befitting of television journalism. Thus, African women who choose to have the doek, must then feel incomplete or inferior for their aesthetic choices".

"eNCA must live with this fact and take the opportunity to transform even its aesthetic appearances to look like a television news program that is in Africa, by Africans and for Africans".

Prof. Anton Harber, editor-in-chief at eNCA says the news channel has "initiated an internal process to ensure our policy is in line with our corporate and national values, and that it embraces the diversity of our staff and audience."

"We look forward to a rich debate about how we do this, and are confident that it will enhance our news product".