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EFF rejects news anchor’s apology for saying Malema, Ndlozi were accused of killing cop

EFF leader Julius Malema.

EFF leader Julius Malema.

  • The EFF has called for the removal of Newzroom Afrika presenter Stephen Grootes.
  • Grootes said on air a witness had been cross-examined on how EFF leader Julius Malema and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi were accused of killing a police officer.
  • Grootes later apologised on air for the mistake he made about their common assault trial, saying he was “truly sorry”.

The EFF has called for the immediate removal of Newzroom Afrika presenter Stephen Grootes after he mistakenly said on air its leader, Julius Malema, and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi were accused of killing a police officer.

Malema and Ndlozi are currently on trial for allegedly assaulting Lieutenant-Colonel Johannes Venter at the funeral of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 2018. They have pleaded not guilty to common assault in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court.

READ | Malema, Ndlozi assault trial: CCTV footage at centre of testimony

During a news broadcast on Tuesday, Grootes said a witness in their trial was being cross-examined about how Malema and Ndlozi were accused of killing Venter.

The TV news channel apologised in a tweet and shared an on-air apology by Grootes.

Grootes said: “Earlier today, I made a mistake which I would like to apologise for. By mistake, I said murder. I must apologise. I am sorry. I don’t know where the word came from. Of course it is an assault case and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to you the viewer for what I said, for the mistake I made, and also, if I may, to Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and to Julius Malema. It was a mistake for which I am truly sorry.”

But Malema and Ndlozi were having none of it.

Malema tweeted: “I accept no apology from a racist boy; he needs to be taught a lesson. They should be a consequence in every racist act.”

Ndlozi also said he did not accept the apology and took issue with Grootes not specifying it was common assault. 

In a statement, the party said: “We call on Newzroom Afrika to remove Grootes from air for his callous and foolish remarks and issue a public apology for the senseless and harmful comments made by someone in their employ.”

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