The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has released a much-anticipated report into alleged editorial interference at the broadcaster.
In the report, compiled by the commission of inquiry into interference at the SABC, chaired by Press Council executive Joe Thloloe, it was highlighted that the commission found capricious use of authority and power to terrorise staff in deflecting the corporation from its mandate and editorial policies.
Although there was no direct link established between the broadcaster and the ANC, the report cited evidence that showed that, from around 2012 to 2017, SABC executives took instructions from people with no authority in the newsroom.
The report, however, cited SABC board member Ellen Tshabalala and former communications minister Faith Muthambi in this respect.
Thloloe found there was no link to Luthuli House (the ANC). In his Monday briefing he said the broadcaster needed to heal from the “scourge of enforcers”.
The commission named staff members Nothando Maseko, Sebolelo Ditlhakanyane and Nyana Molete as “pivotal” to executing instructions from former SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng and his right-hand men.
The commission has recommended that group executives for news be designated as the chairs of the editorial policies and ethics committee under the SABC group executive.
It also recommends that all editorial staff attend one workshop a year on editorial policies.
SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini said in a statement: “The SABC board is deeply concerned about the findings on individual employees named in the report as being implicated in editorial interference. It further notes the finding of the report that the SABC ‘suffered from the capricious use of authority and power to terrorise staff and to deflect the corporation from its mandate and its editorial policies’.”
They would no longer tolerate interference.
“The SABC commits to taking urgent disciplinary action against those implicated, in terms of the SABC’s disciplinary code and policies,” Makhathini added.
(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko)