Friday, December 20, 2019

eNCA fires politician-turned-news boss Kanthan Pillay after allegations of censorship and racism, 'had no alternative but to end the relationship with him'.

eNCA (DStv 403) has fired the politician it appointed as its director of news, Kanthan Pillay following shocking allegations of racism and newsroom censorship that has plunged the eMedia Investments' TV news channel in a growing and damaging credibility crisis.

eNCA appointed Kanthan Pillay, the founder and leader of the Capitalist Party of South Africa (ZACP), known as the "Purple Cows" in a senior news management position at the eMedia TV channel but neither publicist Lerato Maleto nor eNCA editor-in-chief Jeremy Maggs responded to media enquiries as to why Kanthan Pillay was appointed in this position.

eNCA is mired in a growing scandal and reputational damage to its news name a day after reporter Samkele Maseko handed in his resignation and then continued to detail allegations of shocking censorship inside the TV news channel by its politician-turned-news-boss Kanthan Pillay.

Kanthan Pillay also suspended the reporter Khayelihle Khumalo with an email and on social media called Samkele Maseko and others leaving eNCA "rats" who are going to a "sinking ship" meaning the SABC.

"eNCA has parted company with its director of news Kanthan Pillay with immediate effect," eNCA says in a statement issued on Friday afternoon. "This follows outrage and condemnation after a tweet he posted. The tweet does not represent the views of e-Media Investments and the channel.

"After intense overnight investigation and consultation, the channel decided it had no alternative but to end its relationship with him. Although he was acting in an individual capacity and his posting was unsolicited, he was nonetheless a senior member of staff and the channel believes there was no room for any other outcome and that damage control was imperative."

"Serious allegations have also been levelled at eNCA about Kanthan Pillay’s censorship of stories and his management style," says Jeremy Maggs.

"The channel takes the allegations of censorship very seriously. To that end eNCA is co-operating fully with the SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) that has requested clarity."

"The channel will be appointing an external expert to investigate these claims."

"All news organisations have one currency and that is credibility. It is clear this negative attention has adversely affected eNCA’s reputation and credibility. However with the talented and dedicated staff we have, I believe the channel can recover."

"Right now our immediate priorities are to mend strained relationships and to rebuild credibility with its audience and other stakeholders as soon as possible."

Kathan Pillay has been forced to write a separate apology to all eNCA staffers, writing that his actions "were irresponsible and unbecoming of a senior manager in any newsroom" and that he is apologising for his "irresponsible and ill-conceived statement on Twitter" and "the offence caused to all and specifically to Samkele Maseko, the SABC and the management of eMedia".

Kanthan Pillay says that he "apologises unreservedly" for "the action I took in haste and without thinking, which now places my employer, my colleagues, my family and my friends in a most embarrassing position".

"The statement I made is unacceptable and rightfully rebuked by all concerned. In the next few days the matter will be further discussed and investigated, and whatever the outcome, will be binding on me."

"I regret having been drawn into a twitter war and I ask for your understanding with the knowledge that I [sic] deeply remorseful of my actions".

ALSO READ: eNCA editor Jeremy Maggs tells staffers 'today has been a profoundly unpleasant day for all' as eNCA credibility crisis grows after reporter Samkele Maseko reveals censorship allegations; politician-turned-news-boss Kanthan Pillay forced to apologise for 'irresponsible and unbecoming' actions.
ALSO READ: eNCA silent after reporter Samkele Maseko reveals allegations of Hyde Park censorship by news boss Kanthan Pillay and how he was 'thrown out of the eNCA building like a dog'.
ALSO READ: eNCA reporter Samkele Maseko abruptly gone after resignation, apologises to colleagues for not saying goodbye.