EFF, eNCA tiff intensifies over Tabane rant

JJ Tabane. | Supplied

JJ Tabane. | Supplied

Published Jun 25, 2024


The public spat between news broadcaster eNCA and the EFF has escalated after the party accused the newscaster organisation of censoring radio and television host JJ Tabane.

In a statement on Tuesday, the red berets called the eNCA a “white supremacist propaganda house”.

The two organisations have been involved in a bitter fight since 2019 after eNCA announced that it would no longer be covering the party’s 2019 elective conference in the wake of the EFF’s banning of some media outlets.

The EFF later released a statement that they had welcomed the decision by eNCA not to participate in EFF events.

Later in June 2021, a video that went viral on social media showed EFF members making threats to some eNCA journalists during a protest in Tokai, Cape Town.

Following the broadcaster’s announcement that Tabane’s show “Power to Truth” would not be aired this week, South Africans on social media began speculating about Tabane’s future at eNCA.

The speculation was fuelled by Tabane’s recent rant against the formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU), and the divisive role the DA was allegedly playing in recent times.

In his last episode, Tabane spoke of an anti-black posture of the DA, saying the GNU was bound to fail due to policy and ideological differences between the DA and some of its partners in the GNU, including the ANC.

“Black parties could not sit together and agree that it has been 30 years, we do not have the land. We do not have the economy. We do not have anything next to our names. But where blacks govern, it is going to be terrible and the markets are angry. The cold front will come from the markets. It is said that we are underlining with a very big fat red pen that the black man’s medicine is a white man ... The DA hates anything that is black people and transforming the economy so that it benefits blacks,” he said.

The EFF said eNCA’s move was “insensible but unsurprising”, accusing the broadcaster of pulling the show after Tabane’s commentary on the GNU.

“On the previous screening of his show, Tabane stated how, with a proven track record, the DA hates redress, affirmative action, employment equity, National Health Insurance, and black people as a whole.

“This is consistent with Tabane’s platform which, even at previous broadcasters, confronts hard-pressing political matters, and no politician or political party has been spared in this regard. eNCA, a known propaganda machine for white supremacy, has once again revealed its true colours by silencing a black professional who refuses to toe the line of ‘yes baas’,” the party said.

They added that the move was not an isolated incident but part of a broader pattern of marginalising voices that disrupted its anti-black propaganda.

“We witnessed this in 2019, with eNCA’s refusal to cover the EFF’s 2nd National People’s Conference, which was a blatant attempt to settle political scores as the EFF refused to succumb to eNCA’s media mafia tactics,” the statement added.

“Their refusal to objectively cover the EFF, as they should any political organisation, is a testament to white supremacist propaganda machinery disguised as a media house … The EFF has consistently exposed the white supremacist tactics prevalent in media, which still bear the marks of apartheid-era Stratcom, aimed at undermining black individuals and left-leaning black politics.”

However, Tabane quashed the speculation about his show being canned, saying he was on leave until next month.

“I am on leave. Please stop the lies. ‘Power to Truth’ will resume next month. This is so fake,” he said.

But many of his followers remained unconvinced and questioned the timing of his leave, wondering why at the height of the GNU negotiations, the most influential political commentator was not around.

eNCA had not responded by the time of publication.

The Star