The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has apologized for linking Malawians to the terror attack that happened at a hotel complex in Nairobi three weeks ago, killing at least 21 people.
A South African analyst Izak Khomo, without presenting any sound evidence, claimed on SABC that Al-Shabab had recruited Malawians from the Yao tribe to carry out the attack at DusitD2 Hotel on Tuesday last week.
In his analysis on SABC, Khomo alleged that some countries in Africa, including Malawi, have connections with Al- Shabab that claimed responsibility of the attack in Kenya.
“There are Al Shabaab fighters in Tanzania,……most of them are Zanzibaris, some of them are across Tanzania from Dar es Salaam area…. You have got Al-Shabab fighters from Uganda. These are ADF-linked fighters. And there are also Al-Shabab fighters from Mozambique, northern Mozambique….And also from Malawi.
“Southern Malawi, mostly Yao, there are many of them, Muslims and many of them, not because they are muslims but many of them did, actually, go to the Al-Shabab camps over there. But it is not only Al-Shabab, that’s a thing which everybody has to realise. Also we have Isis. And we have also got an Isis presence in South Africa. When I am talking about Isis, I am not talking about the Durban, the home-grown Isis, I am talking about the foreign Isis,” Khomo was quoted as saying
The development angered Chiwanja Cha Yawo Cultural Heritage who demanded an explanation on the matter.
The government of Malawi through Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa wrote the government of South Africa on the matter demanding an explanation.
Due to pressure, SABC has issued a statement apologizing to Malawians.
“The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC regrets the unfortunate statements made by an analyst on one of the news services, the SABC News Channel, during the coverage of the Kenyan attacks on 15 January 2019. As precisely reflected in your letter, during the discussion of the attacks the analyst implied the existence of the ties between the Yao people of the Southern Malawi and Al-Shabab and their recruitment by the grouping. The Corporation is fully cognizant of the anger and disappointment arising from ill-fated assertions. The SABC apologizes unreservedly for the incident, and for negative impact created by the utterances made on its platform,” reads in part the statement.