On Wednesday, Barnes made fun of Motshekga during a live broadcast after she had mispronounced the word “epitome”.
South Africans immediately took to social media to express outrage, with some pointing to the fact that the television news anchor had failed to pronounce Motshekga’s name correctly.
The news channel said: “eNCA is aware of Andrew Barnes’ comment. His quip was in poor taste and management will address this. We apologise unreservedly.”
An hour later Barnes tweeted: “My heartfelt apologies for the hurtful comment I made about the Education Minister’s English today. You all expect more of me. I’m sorry.”
However, there was widespread reaction, especially on twitter.
Esethu Hasane, a government spokesperson, tweeted: “White @eNCA anchor says ‘someone should have a word with the Basic Edu Min on how to pronounce epitome’. He can’t pronounce her surname.”
Many on social media were asking whether eNCA would take action against Barnes, with others asking whether eNCA would be running the offensive clip as part of its news coverage.