02 MARCH 2021
THE ANC MEMORANDUM OF DEMANDS TO ENCA
We, members of the African National Congress (ANC), are appalled by the racist behaviour of eNCA journalist, Lindsay Dentlinger, as well as the subsequent statement by eNCA management which sought to justify and condone this offensive and deplorable conduct.
Non-racialism has been a key pillar and fundamental tenet of the ANC's policies since its establishment. It is a policy the ANC has been pursuing tirelessly and relentlessly for many decades. It is an enduring part of the ANC's character, tradition and DNA. This commitment to non-racialism finds expression in the Freedom Charter: "South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white". It is in this context that we find Dentlinger's conduct and eNCA's response to it deeply offensive.
South Africans are justifiably enraged by Dentlinger's pattern of behavior in which she comfortably interviews white politicians without masks on, but as soon as she sees black politicians, she suddenly remembers that coronavirus exists. This is an insult to all black people. It is consistent with the white supremacist mentality that has historically associated black people with disease and dirt. We remind her and her managers that COVID-19 is not a black pandemic.
Both Dentliger and eNCA have wronged our nation and undermined our collective efforts of building a nation on the values of equality and non-racialism. Through its pathetic statement, eNCA has lost a golden opportunity to remove its racist tag and to send a clear and unambiguous message that racism will not be countenanced. While we note the remarks by SANEF on Friday condemning eNCA, we challenge SANEF and other media house to take a clear stand against eNCA on this matter.
SANEF needs to be consistent and vocal against racism in the media. In addition to this recent incident, eNCA has a history of mistreating its black journalists, some of whom have been forced out by the racially intolerable conditions at eNCA. All South Africans and media houses that are committed to a non-racial future must say to eNCA: This far and no further!
Even at this late hour, we call on eNCA management to say or do something practical that will demonstrate genuine remorse on its part. Failure by eNCA to deal decisively with racism within its ranks is not only the worst form of dereliction of duty, it also amounts to acquiescence with racist behavior.
As we reflect on the cancer of racism, we recall the profound words of President Nelson Mandela: "'No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite".
As we celebrate March as Human Rights Month, we urge our members and supporters and all those who embrace the vision of a non-racial and non-sexist South Africa not to tire, but to redouble their efforts to ensure that the demon of racism is consigned to the dustbin of history. And we echo the words of struggle stalwart Helen Josephs when she said: "I don't doubt for a moment that the revolution will result in a nonracial society. "
LIST OF DEMANDS
On behalf of our movement and all patriots who value equality and non-racialism, we demand the following:
1 eNCA must withdraw the offensive statement in which they defended Dentlinger
2 eNCA to send an unconditional apology to all South Africans for the pain and hurt that Dentlinger and eNCA have caused
3 Enca to send its journalists and management to human rights training to learn the values of equality and non-racialism
4 eNCA must publicly acknowledge its history of mistreating its black journalists, some of whom have been forced out by the racially intolerable conditions at eNCA.
5 eNCA to issue an unambiguous commitment that it will no longer tolerate racism within its ranks and to do something practical that will demonstrate genuine remorse on its part.
6 The leadership and journalists of eNCA to engage in a process of thorough soul-searching and to confront their own racism and racial prejudice
We demand a response to the above list of demands within 14 days of receipt of this memorandum.
@MYANC Comrade Jessie Duarte today leads a picket outside ENCA head office in Johannesburg as part of our nationwide campaign against the scourge of racism in South Africa.#BlackLivesMatter #NoToRacism #ANCsaysNoToRacism pic.twitter.com/hMz1POhBAt— African National Congress (@MYANC) March 2, 2021
Issued by the ANC, 2 March 2021