eNCA Journalist Lindsay Dentlinger Apologises Over Mask Uproar

“People don’t want to hear that it was an oversight for me not to ask Groenewald not to wear a mask.

eNCA Journalist Lindsay Dentlinger Apologises Over Mask Uproar-SurgeZirc SA
Mask Incident/Photo File: TSA

eNCA journalist Lindsay Dentlinger has apologised for the disrespect that might have been caused by the recent mask debacle, which saw her being at the receiving end of racism allegations.

Both Dentlinger and the television news channel found themselves at the centre of a racial storm after a video clip showed the senior journalist asking black politicians, including the United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) Nqabayomzi Kwankwa and African National Congress (ANC) MP Bongani Bondo, to put on their masks. However, she is also seen conducting interviews with the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) John Steenhuisen and FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald, without masks.

READ MORE: ANC To Protest Against Racism Following Allegations Against eNCA Journalist

The clip went viral on social media and sparked anger amongst South Africans. Less than a week since the incident, Dentlinger has given her side of the story. “I totally acknowledge the outrage and I apologise for the disrespect it has caused to people who don’t deserve to be drawn into this,” Dentlinger said in an interview on eNCA.

Dentlinger further said she felt awful about how she was being perceived and what the country believed was a true reflection of who she is as a journalist. “I do acknowledge how it is portrayed. I am being portrayed as to not speaking to anyone black unless wearing a mask,” she said.

Dentlinger admitted that she erred in not asking Groenewald to wear a mask. She said as a journalist, her first instinct was to ask questions and not check whether he had been wearing a mask or not.

READ MORE: Eight Police Officers Arrested In Gauteng After Killing A Suspect In Custody

“People don’t want to hear that it was an oversight for me not to ask Groenewald not to wear a mask. He was my first interviewee and things are working differently in this time of COVID-19,” she said.

“Normally, I would have producers with me who would grab interviewees and make sure they are prepared for the broadcast. Groenewald didn’t have a mask on before I started interviewing him.”

It remains to be seen whether Lindsay Dentilinger’s apology will do anything to please critics, especially the African National Congress (ANC) as it intends conducting a picket outside eNCA studios in Hyde Park, Johannesburg on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Other demonstrations across the country will be held in offices of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) as well as the nearest police stations.


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