UPDATE: Duarte hits back at eNCA after her rant at ‘arrogantly disposed’ journalist
The ANC deputy secretary-general subjected Samkele Maseko to an angry lecture, which eNCA gave blanket coverage.
ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte is pictured at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Parktown, 27 November 2018. Picture: Refilwe Modise
An ANC press briefing went south on Tuesday afternoon when deputy secretary-general of the ANC Jessie Duarte attacked journalist Samkele Maseko in a rant that lasted close to two minutes.
Duarte labelled Maseko “the worst bully I’ve ever come across”, said he was “arrogantly disposed” and accused him of believing he is “the lord of media”.
She also criticised him for trying to “defend freedom of speech you’ve never fought for”.
In a statement, released later in the afternoon by Duarte’s office, the ANC says it “has noted the one sided and biased story given by the eNCA on the interaction between Mr Samkelo Maseko” and Duarte.
This was presumably in reaction to eNCA’s coverage of the event after Duarte’s rant had gone viral on social media.
“At the beginning of the briefing, the DSG [Duarte] explained that she would only read the media statement, but if there are any questions outside the statement, these should be referred to the ANC Acting National Spokesperson,” the statement reads.
“After DSG finished reading the media statement, eNCA reporter, Mr. Maseko engaged in an unacceptable and unprofessional outburst.
“The DSG has requested a meeting with the editorial team of eNCA and the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF).”
The statement concludes that Duarte “reiterates her commitment to freedom of the media and editorial independence which has been championed by the ANC for many years.”
— Mpho Maṱhoho (@MaxMpho) April 2, 2019
The rant is transcribed in its entirety below:
“I am going to complain about you to the ombudsman.
“This is what you do, the last time you came here there was a press meeting here, we were all very polite to each other.
“Mr Samkele, you have a habit of intimidating everybody, you have a habit of making people feel that you are the lord of the media, you are one journalist, you work for one eNCA and you think all of us must shiver and shake.
“You call me me a bully but you are the worst bully I’ve ever come across. I’ve never met anyone as arrogantly disposed as you are and you want to defend freedom of speech you’ve never fought for.
“And you don’t defend freedom of speech because your particular TV station has decided the direction it will go on as it did in 2016 you followed the DA slogan of ‘vote for change’.
“So what do you want us to do? To bow and scrape every time you walk into a room and call you my lord, the lord of the media? You are just a journalist just as I am just a citizen, nothing more, nothing less.
“Yes, this is personal”.
I am so happy this was televised. The hell we are put through when we have to interact with this official is not fun and games. https://t.co/NdiYm5x5IJ
— Qaanitah Hunter (@QaanitahHunter) April 2, 2019
Before the briefing she said any question that is not related to the press released should be directed to the spokesperson of the ANC but because Samkele thinks that he's smarter than any other journalist chose to go his own route.
— Save our Country 🇿🇦 (@nhlanhlaxulu4) April 2, 2019