Radio man Barry Bateman gets monthly salary, thanks to well-wishers

Supporters of Barry Bateman have rallied around him after he was docked a month's pay for an off-the-cuff remark he made about Julius Malema.
Supporters of Barry Bateman have rallied around him after he was docked a month's pay for an off-the-cuff remark he made about Julius Malema.
Image: ALON SKUY

A crowdfunding drive for radio journalist Barry Bateman, who was docked one month’s pay for calling EFF leader Julius Malema a “p**s”, has raised enough in just one day to ensure he is not out of pocket.

The journalist was caught on camera using the derogatory term just moments after posing questions to Malema. He was in conversation with another reporter when the comment was made. Bateman was pulled off air after the clip went viral on Twitter.

On Wednesday, medical doctor and co-founder of radio show Renegade Report, Jonathan Witt, tweeted details of the crowdfunding effort. “My friend, and journalist, @barrybateman has been suspended without pay following an incident last month for which he has apologised. If you’re able to help him make ends meet this month please consider making a donation,” he said.

On Thursday morning, he announced that the crowdfunding was so successful, it had been halted.

“A target has been reached which is in line with his monthly salary, and as a result no further funds are required. Thank you to everyone who so generously contributed,” said Witt.

Bateman tweeted his appreciation too.

“Thanks to everyone for the support. It’s greatly appreciated. I’m now going to put my head into the books — my first of four exams is little under two weeks away.”

After his suspension was announced, Bateman tweeted: “Just a quick shout out to all the tweeps, friends and industry colleagues for the hundred-upon-hundreds of messages of support over the last month or so.”

On Tuesday, he issued an unreserved apology to Malema, his employer, Eyewitness News, all South Africans and “all women” for last month's off-the-cuff remark.

“As a senior journalist and a citizen of SA, I have a duty to uphold the highest ethical standards and professional conduct, whatever the circumstances or differences I may have with other newsmakers,” he said.

“My comments went against my company's values and risked undermining the important role it plays in promoting gender equality, its contribution to the country's war against gender-based violence, and its role in building trust as an ethical media house.

“I have accepted the disciplinary charges immediately instituted against me by EWN, as well as the consequences that my actions have borne. This includes a one-month suspension without pay for the month of October and a final written warning for my conduct, valid for 12 months,” he said.

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