Johannesburg - SABC news anchor Eben Jansen has been taken off the air pending an investigation into his conduct during an interview with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on colonial statues.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the public broadcaster was “unhappy” and Jansen would be off the air until the matter had been dealt with.
“The SABC doesn’t condone what happened and we feel it was something that should’ve been avoided.
“A decision has been made not to schedule Mr Jansen until this matter has been dealt with by management and himself.”
Jansen was interviewing EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi during his prime-time slot Newsroom, which airs on SABC’s DStv channel 404.
He became so emotional about the debate on defacing statues that he wouldn’t allow Ndlozi to speak, eventually shutting him out of the show.
In an ambiguously framed question that seemed to have irritated the interviewee, Jansen asked if EFF’s protest was an attempt to diminish the history of other groups of people.
“What is the difference when you are trying to diminish the history of others?”
Ndlozi says: “If you give me an opportunity to speak, I am trying to demonstrate the intellectual bankruptcy of your question.” Ndlozi went on to tell Jansen his question was fundamentally wrong.
“In fact, it misreads the entire narrative of colonisation. The government that stands is not a colonial government, it is a post-colonial government.”
Jansen accused Ndlozi of hijacking the UCT student protest and claiming it as the EFF’s.
* Video: Ndlozi interview begins at 19.15*
This is not the first time Jansen has been in hot water. In 2002, he was fired from e.TV after claiming then-Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson “groped” a Cape Town woman.