Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS
Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

Communications Ministry accuses eNCA of dragging its feet over body-shaming comment

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Jan 21, 2021

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Cape Town - The Ministry of Communications has accused eNCA of dragging its feet to deal with the comments made by its news anchor relating to the body-shaming of Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

However, eNCA said it was looking into the matter.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Communications Mish Molakeng said yesterday they were still waiting for eNCA to come back to them with feedback after they complained over comments made by Jane Dutton a few days ago.

He said it appeared though that the station was dragging its feet to deal with the matter.

“Management is dragging their feet on this matter. So far, they have not even responded in writing to confirm that they are addressing the matter. This to me demonstrates a selective approach towards gender-based violence issues,” said Molakeng.

eNCA managing editor John Bailey said they were looking into the matter.

“The broadcast of news in South Africa is regulated. We wish to advise that we are still internally looking at the matter and not in a position to make any comments at this stage,” said Bailey.

In the letter to eNCA, the Ministry said it wants the station to apologise for the comments made by Dutton.

“Ms Dutton’s comments are deeply offensive and disturbing, especially in light of the harassment and physical assault women have to contend with at the hands of bullies. Comments such as the ones from Ms Dutton should have no place in our country, and all those who subject people to body-shaming incidents should be called out,” read the letter.

It added that the ministry was demanding an apology from the station and Dutton.

Ndabeni-Abrahams was appearing in an advert calling for people to pay their TV licences when Dutton made the comments.

In the letter, seen by Independent Media, the ministry said it wants this matter to be addressed as the country has to contend with issues of abuse.

In a follow-up letter, the ministry said it was still waiting for feedback from the station on the action it would take.

Molakeng said they have been waiting for some time for the station to come back to them and nothing has happened.

However, this was a matter that required serious attention, he said.

He said it was in the interest of the country that this was done.

Political Bureau

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