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April 15th, 2015 by

Eben Comparison - The Eben Jansen Debacle

On Thursday, 9 April 2015, the SABC Newsroom hosted an interview between Presenter, Eben Jansen, and EFF Spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. What was meant to be an informative session soon turned into chaos. The topic of conversation? The ongoing attack on colonial statues throughout South Africa. Jansen began with questions relating to this issue and, initially, allowed Ndlozi to present his views. Before long, however, Jansen began shouting over Ndlozi’s answers and abruptly ended the interview; leaving Ndlozi bewildered and the South African audience watching shocked.
“We have made it clear from the word go that we do not condone what happened, it was not professional and he has to explain.” – SABC’s Kaizer Kganyago
“It was embarrassing to any journalist. He was overly aggressive and he showed his own ignorance. It was just totally inappropriate behaviour.” – Wits journalism professor Anton Harber
Since then, Jansen has received major backlash via Social Media networks and is currently suspended from SABC until further notice. This is following the official complaint that was lodged against him to the BCCSA.
If you have yet to see Jansen’s behaviour, watch the video here.
After the tear-down of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, which used to be situated on UCT’s campus, many other colonial statues are facing removal; and have been for some time now! In 2010, Queen Victoria’s statue, found in PE, was vandalized after negative media was published, in England, regarding President Zuma’s visit there. Since then, several statues in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Krugersdorp, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town have been targeted to be removed; based, primarily, on the colonial attitude (towards blacks) they represent.
Under current fire is the Paul Kruger Memorial as well as Jan Van Riebeeck who was found to have a sign hanging around his neck with the words: “I stole your land, so what?”. Louis Botha’s statue, outside the Union Buildings, is also not a favourite.
For Jansen, this is not his first attempt at acting inappropriately on live TV. In 2002, he made unsuitable comments, on air, about Sir Alec Ferguson and was, also, suspended. Seems SABC keeps bringing him back, though. Why? We cannot say. Only time will tell what happens with his current suspension.
For the statues, we’ve created a poll recording your thoughts on this. Are you for or against the preservation of history? Even if it’s a negative one. If you want to say more, we’ve found a Facebook page that’s been created for this very cause! Go have your say there.