Leading journalist Samkele Maseko has announced his abrupt departure from TV news channel eNCA.
Maseko made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon via Twitter, taking many of his followers by surprise.
He wrote, “Today my Journey with @eNCA came to an end. Thank you for all those who have contributed to a journey that started off as a BootCamper in 2014, later to return in 2017 as a reporter under @NgiphiweMhlangu. It’s a been good, learned a lot. Thank you Jeremy Maggs for everything.”
‘Apology for not saying goodbye’
eNCA has not issued an official statement on Maseko’s departure yet. On Tuesday morning, there was no indication that he was leaving the channel as he reported on an event headlined by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.
In a subsequent tweet, Maseko apologised to his former colleagues at eNCA for “not saying goodbye.”
“To my former Colleagues @eNCA I apologise for not saying goodbye. Such is the nature of such things… We shall meet again somewhere soon,” he wrote.
The popular reporter added to the intrigue by tweeting, “Yinde’Lendlela.” Loosely translated, it means the road ahead is long.
Off to SABC News?
Sources say Maseko will be joining SABC News in the New Year. However, he has not confirmed this publicly yet.
His announcement sparked surprised as well as congratulatory messages from his followers, colleagues in the media and those he has worked with.
Political analyst Dr Sithembile Mbete tweeted, “Well done on an amazing tenure at @eNCA! It’s been a pleasure to watch you grow as a journalist and broadcaster. Wishing you all the best in your next adventure.”
eNCA news anchor Thembekile Mrototo added, “Dude! It has been such a pleasure sharing a newsroom and screen time with you. Thank you for all the help, the fooling around and agreeing to all the last minute crossings. You’re next chapter is going to be incredible.”
Fellow eNCA journalist Zikhona Tshona expressed surprise, “Wow cadre, I know you said….but wow. All the best on your new journey.”
“All the best Sam, you did exceptionally well for yourself. You have rolled with the punches and remained dynamic; you have made reporting politics so easy when it’s an enormous task with endless calls from politicians. You rose above everything. I admire your unrivalled skill,” wrote Khayelihle Khumalo.
UPDATE: In a Facebook post late on Tuesday, Maseko moved to quell speculation surrounding his departure.
He wrote, “To cut the speculation, this is what happened. I resigned from @eNCA today for greener pastures. There was no sinister motive or agenda.
“It had nothing to do with their decision to no longer broad[cast] the @EFFSouthAfrica conference. I couldn’t serve notice as per their decision.”