Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has apologised for an altercation she had with an SABC news crew who were filming an ANC provincial rally in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.
The minister, who raised her hand in front of an SABC video camera, blocking visual coverage of the rally, issued a statement saying she “sincerely regrets the incident”.
“I would like to offer my sincere apology for an earlier altercation with some members of the media during the ANC provincial rally in Mount Frere while trying to stop the singing comrades,” she said. “I wish to assure the media and South Africans at large of my unreserved commitment to media freedom”.
The SABC reported that Ndabeni-Abrahams put her hand in front of the camera after people stormed the venue to complain about a lack of service delivery in the area. She allegedly told the SABC journalists that they could not film the protest.
“A cabinet minister tried to interfere with the SABC’s coverage of the invasion,” the public broadcaster said in a video later published on YouTube. “The disruption occurred during the provincial manifesto launch at Badibanise Stadium in KwaBhaca, formerly Mount Frere.”
The SABC’s report on the altercation can be viewed below:
Last month, Ndabeni-Abrahams courted controversy when she slammed Vodacom on social media, telling the company to “just shut up” and “do the right thing” around the “please call me” settlement with its former employee, Nkosana Makate.
The minister took to Twitter to lay into the mobile operator’s settlement with Makate, who claimed he invented the “please call me” service, which allows Vodacom customers to send a free text message requesting a call back from another party.
“Just shut up Vodacom and do the right thing,” Ndabeni-Abrahams tweeted. “’Talk to Makate’ instead of this poor PR stunt. Don’t talk to us until you have reached a settlement with him and his team.”
The minister’s tweet was in response to a Vodacom reply on Twitter to a tweet from Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who said: “We need to stand by Nkosana ‘Please Call Me’ against this bully called @Vodacom.”
Vodacom’s official Twitter account then replied to Lesufi: “A decision on reasonable compensation payable to Mr Makate, based on the Con Court Order, was recently made by Vodacom Group CEO. This decision has been communicated to Mr Makate and his attorneys. Claims that Vodacom is disrespecting decision of courts is false & ill-informed.”
This response then prompted Ndabeni-Abrahams’ angry reply. The minister later deleted her tweet with explanation. — © 2019 NewsCentral Media