e.tv and Patta apologise to FF Plus

E.TV yesterday confirmed that 3rd Degree's Debora Patta will apologise for accusing Freedom Front Plus leader Chrisna de Kock of racism.

E.TV yesterday confirmed that 3rd Degree's Debora Patta will apologise for accusing Freedom Front Plus leader Chrisna de Kock of racism.

"In hindsight and having viewed the edited programme, 3rd Degree came to the conclusion that the manner in which the allegation was put across was unfortunate," said e.tv spokesperson Vasili Vass.

During the interview aired on May 25, Vass said it was put to De Kock that she was a racist. She denied this. He added that at no stage were any accusations made against the FF Plus.

The FF Plus submitted a complaint to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA about Patta's treatment of De Kock during the interview.

"During the interview with Ms De Kock, Ms Patta came across very aggressively and did not give Ms De Kock an opportunity to answer on her allegations of racism," said FF Plus parliamentary spokesperson Anton Alberts in a statement.

De Kock is the vice president of the Student Representative Council on the campus of the University of the Free State (UFS).

A video made by four white students at the university last year sparked outrage as it depicted black workers taking part in an initiation-like ritual which included kneeling to eat food into which a student had allegedly urinated.

Alberts called on Patta and e.tv to apologise ahead of the hearing. The broadcaster and Patta agreed to do so.

"By offering an apology, Deborah Patta and e.tv acknowledge that they had made a mistake and exceeded journalistic boundaries with the production of an insert on racism at the UFS for 3rd Degree," said Alberts.

However, Vass said the apology was for calling De Kock a racist and 3rd Degree did not "exceed journalistic boundaries".

All charges against Patta and the programme were dropped.

The apology was expected to be aired last night on 3rd Degree. - Sapa

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