Newzroom Afrika TV news channel has suspended the popular late night show Your View, which is hosted by Onkgopotse JJ Tabane, for making “disparaging” comments about the people of Limpopo.
During the show on Thursday night, Tabane seemingly said the people of Limpopo are “witchcraft specialists.”
He made the comment while criticising the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in the Peter Mokaba region for opposing the government’s choice of Limpopo as the site of its coronavirus quarantine centre.
‘Not the views of Newzroom Afrika‘
In a statement on Friday afternoon, Newzroom Afrika said Tabane’s comments are not aligned with its values.
It said, “Respect for the cultures of all South Africans is at the core of these values and Tabane’s comments violated them.
“They were offensive and disrespectful and he has acknowledged this and apologised on his personal Twitter account.”
The channel added that Tabane would also be making an apology on News@Prime on Friday night.
Matter under editorial review
Newzroom Afrika said despite Tabane’s apology, the matter is under review by its editorial sub-committee led by veteran journalist Dr Joe Thloloe.
“Pending the outcome of the investigation, Your View will be suspended until further notice,” it added.
Clayson Monyela, the spokesperson of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), was among those who reacted to Tabane’s comments.
He tweeted, “My brother and friend @JJTabane, I’m assuming the statement that the people of Limpopo are witchcraft specialists was said in jest. It’s still offensive…considering that your show deals with news/current affairs. You may want to consider apologising.”
In response, Tabane wrote, “Yes indeed my brother. But I am sorry about it nonetheless. Truly sorry.”
Several social media users accepted Tabane’s apology, but argued that the suspension of the show was a step too far.
One of them, former ANCYL leader Magasela Mzobe, wrote, “You guys are dramatic. Why investigate when he has acknowledged his mistake and apologised? What are you investigating? Bring back the show and @JJTabane.”