News anchor suspended for mocking education minister on air

 ·7 Jan 2016

eNCA senior anchor Andrew Barnes has been suspended following his mockery of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s pronunciation of certain words on air.

“We have begun disciplinary measures against Andrew Barnes. Andrew has been taken off air with an on air apology being broadcasted this afternoon,” the broadcaster told News24.

Barnes made the initial remark while the broadcaster aired extracts from Motshekga’s speech she delivered when announcing the results for the 2015 matric year on Tuesday.

After cutting back to Barnes at the end of the snippet, he said: “Maybe someone should have a word with the Basic Education minister about how to pronounce the word ‘epitome’.”

Watch: SA news anchor mocks education minister’s English

eNCA said Barnes’ comments were “not only hurtful and unnecessary, but deeply insensitive”, and also apologised for the incident.

South Africans on Twitter have not taken kindly to the remark, after Sport and Recreation spokesperson Esethu Hasane posted a video clip on the platform questioning Barnes’ comment on Wednesday morning.

Some have since stated that the remark was unnecessary and unprofessional. Others highlighted that Barnes himself struggled to pronounce Motshekga’s surname in the same sentence.

Barnes offererd an apology shortly after the incident.

“My heartfelt apologies for the hurtful comment I made about the Education Minister’s English today. You all expect more of me. I’m sorry,” he said.

His apology received mixed reaction, with some opting to forgive him, while others flat out rejected it.


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