Durban author Kiru Naidoo has taken a firm position behind the KwaZulu Natal premier against journalist Shahan Ramkissoon. In an open letter, Naidoo calls on the eNCA news anchor to “make amends of his own volition” for his conduct on-air in a recent interview . Naidoo in his letter wants Ramkissoon to apologise to Premier Zikalala instead of “being compelled by his editors” to do so.
The KZN provincial administration has come under the spotlight following a series of allegations over procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Last week Friday, KwaZulu Natal premier Sihle Zikalala describes the conduct of Shahan Ramkissoon as one that “disrespected” and “belittled” him in an interview earlier this month. Zikalala revealed his sentiments over Ramkissoon during a Zoom session hosted by the South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF). It was on August 7 that Zikalala found himself in the hot seat during a live eNCA news broadcast. Ramkissoon had taken to ask a series of questions surrounding the death of a patient at a KZN hospital, as well as, questions relating to COVID-19 procurement spending. Zikalala is seen left fuming during his interaction on-air and lashes out at Ramkissoon for his line of questions. The KwaZulu Natalpremier also alludes that Ramkissoon’s conduct and behaviour towards him was racist.
“The manner in which Shahan was engaging with me was disrespectful and bordering on the element of discrimination. He was trying to belittle me.”KwaZulu Natal premier Sihle Zikalala – SANEF Zoom Meet
During the SANEF Zoom virtual session, Zikalala said that there’s a sentiment among “others” that “Africans” can’t lead or succeed in “anything”, which is why it was important to respect one another and form social cohesion.
Kiru Naidoo support of Zikalala sparks outcry
The open letter by Naidoo has also sparked sharp criticism, from South Africans of Indian-origin, slamming Kiru Naidoo for his unwavering support of the ruling party given the current scandals it faces. Naidoo described Shahan Ramkissoon’s conduct as “demeaning tinged with racism.” He had further added that “People of Indian origin, in particular, are both victims and perpetrators of racism – overt, covert, conscious and criminal.”
Ramkissoon has not responded to Naidoo’s comments or the criticism levelled against him by the KwaZulu Natal or that of Kiru Naidoo. You can read Kiru Naidoo’s full letter here
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