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Helen Zille on radio station's apology: EFF won't accept it as 'it was not grovelling enough'

12 September 2019 - 06:00 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Helen Zille says the EFF's 'fragility over an expletive' was ironic.. File photo.
Helen Zille says the EFF's 'fragility over an expletive' was ironic.. File photo.

Former DA leader Helen Zille says the only reason EFF leader Julius Malema and his party won't accept Eyewitness News's apology is that it "was not grovelling enough".

This after the broadcaster apologised to Malema for the foul language used by senior journalist Barry Bateman on Tuesday.

Bateman was caught on camera using the word p**s while in conversation with another reporter after an impromptu press briefing by Malema outside the Hawks' offices on Tuesday.

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The video and the phrase has been trending on social media.

TimesLIVE reported that Eyewitness News issued a statement, saying: "As EWN, we demand that our reporters abide by the same high standards that we expect from others.

"Bateman was taken off air immediately after we were made aware of the video. EWN will hold an internal probe that will deal with the matter appropriately."


The EFF, however, has rejected the apology, saying it was a "delayed lukewarm apology".

"We have long warned that journalists are responsible for the toxic environment that the EFF has to operate in, within the media generally.

"One must simply imagine what would have happened had the EFF responded to Bateman on the scene of his naked provocation. It is obvious that many would blame the EFF for being intolerant of the media and suppressing media freedom," said the party.

The EFF said the broadcaster must take action against Bateman.

"Had it been a black journalist who would have insulted a white journalist, he would be under suspension with immediate effect," the party argued.

"Bateman must be dealt with the same way and not be accorded the white privilege of kid gloves."

Zille chimes in

Taking to Twitter, Zille said the EFF's "fragility over an expletive" was ironic.

"They won't accept the apology because it was not grovelling enough," she said.