Is SABC’s Eben Jansen becoming Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly?

On Thursday SABC news anchor Eben Jansen, who presents the daily TV programme “SABC Newsroom”, held a debate with EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi about the recent vandalism of colonial statues across the country.

In a video that has gone viral, Jansen is seen interrupting Ndlozi as he tries to answer questions posed to him. Jansen accuses the EFF of “hijacking” the student protest to remove colonial statues and also accuses the party of being responsible for vandalising the statues.

In response, Ndlozi said that the EFF was not responsible for the vandalism of the statues, but instead the party had endorsed the protests and made calls to remove them.

“If our members have been involved [in vandalism], of course, we are all willing to come out and take that responsibility, but we are still trying to find out exactly what happened.” Jansen drew comparisons between the vandalism of statues and the genocide of white South Africans.

Before the heated debate took place, the SABC Newsroom tweeted:

Some social media users were shocked at Eben’s behaviour.

Different hash tags such as #Eben, #EbenJansen and #EbenJansenMustFall was used.

Jansen continued to shout at Ndlozi and interjected as he tried to answer questions: “Are you going to allow me to speak? Are you going to allow me to speak?” asked Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

Jansen eventually cut him off. “I’m not going to allow you to speak anymore Mister Ndlozi because we can’t have a conversation.”

Tips for Jansen:

1. Do your research about politics before interviewing politicians. 

2. Learn the difference between being the interviewer and the interviewee. 

3. Give your guests a chance to speak after asking them questions. 

4. Respect your guests and don’t use them as a means to push your own personal agenda, [or that of the SABC’s?]. 

5. Be professional and presentable. 

6. Stay away from “Red Indians” remarks and trying to justify the removal of “statues” to the genocide of a “people”.

7. Keep your journalism 101 notes – you never know when they’ll come in handy.

Oh, one more thing … See some comparisons here?:

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Sthembiso Sithole
Sthembiso Sithole is a social media specialist. He recently studied BA Honours in Journalism and Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2014, he obtained his journalism qualification at Tshwane University of Technology. He has achieved so much, and there are tons more he dreams of accomplishing. He has written for The Star, was a blogger for JournTau, worked at SABC as a Digital News Producer and was formerly the Mail & Guardians social media editor.

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