JOHANNESBURG: The head of news at eNCA, Indian-origin Kanthan Pillay, has been fired by the broadcaster following uproar over his alleged racist remarks to a resigning employee.
Pillay has fallen on his sword as he has been condemned for likening senior journalist Samkele Maseko to a ‘rat’ after the reporter resigned from the 24-hour channel this week has been fired.
“References to people, especially black people, as monkeys, dogs, rats and cockroaches are hurtful and carry with them associations with various acts of oppression throughout history”, said Executive Director of the Foundation Neeshan Balton.
The political journalist, Samkele Maseko, resigned to reportedly take up a position at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
eNCA received massive backlash after Maseko alleged incidents of editorial interference by Pillay, who was later forced to apologise for his conduct.
A public apology by Pillay failed to control the damage after he courted controversy. South Africa’s largest independent TV news channel eNCA finally said it parted ways with Pillay because of allegations of censorship.
“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,” eNCA said.
NOTE: eNCA and KANTHAN PILLAY PART COMPANY— eNCA (@eNCA) December 20, 2019
eNCA has parted company with its Director of News Kanthan Pillay with immediate effect. This follows outrage and condemnation after a tweet he posted.
The tweet does not represent the views of e-Media Investments and the channel. 1/4 pic.twitter.com/3hH4WNvPGZ
Pillay is a former politician who founded the capitalist party of South Africa, also known as the Purple Cow. He started the party to contest the national elections earlier this year but failed to secure a single seat.