Two MPs who were allegedly on the end of ‘unconscious racism’ from an eNCA journalist have both stood their ground against the broadcaster. Lindsay Dentlinger has found herself in the centre of a storm, after multiple clips of her treating black interviewees differently from their white counterparts went viral this week.
Who are the MPs at the centre of the eNCA racism row?
At both the SONA Debate and the Budget Speech, Dentlinger was seen interviewing maskless politicians – who happened to be white. On separate occasions, she then asks her black guests to put their masks on – creating a clear and unfortunate double-standard. The UDM’s Nqabayomzi Kwankwa and the IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlenga have both been hurt by the incident.
Kwanka is certainly the more vocal of the pair. He has already dismissed eNCA as ‘arrogant racists’ who ‘share propaganda passed off as news’. The party’s Deputy Leader refused to mince his words on Friday.
“You have proven time and time again to be a bunch of arrogant racists. I say to eNCA, take your airtime, your racism, your propaganda passed off as news and stuff it!! While my party follows due process dealing with you; my interviews with eNCA will be a thing of the past.”
“I did not even see what was happening at the time. In fact, I was too busy focusing on doing my job to the best of my ability. I only saw what happened when a friend of mine sent me the video.”
Complaints pile up against eNCA
That intense rhetoric has been ably supported by UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, who went in to bat for his understudy. The veteran politician confirmed complaints are being lodged with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission and the SAHRC:
“eNCA has defended its racist treatment of United Democratic Movement (UDM) Deputy President Nqabayomzi Kwankwa. No surprise there. Arrogance and racism, what a combination. The UDM has sought relief from the BCCSA regarding eNCA’s “mask incident”. We shall write to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) next.”
Lindsay Dentlinger ‘facing a journey to forgiveness’
Mkhuleko Hlengwa, however, has taken a more diplomatic approach. The IFP representative says he received a call from Lindsay Dentlinger earlier this morning, where she offered a heartfelt apology. It’s still not enough to get the reporter off the hook, though: Her apology will only be accepted based on the outcomes of a meeting the pair will hold next week.
This morning I received a call from Ms #LindsayDentlinger apologising for the events of Feb 18.
However, understanding apologies to be only meaningful when accompanied by a journey, we've agreed to meet next week.
A letter to @eNCA is being dispatched as well on their "statement"
— Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP # # (@MkhulekoHlengwa) February 26, 2021