Citizen reporter
2 minute read
17 Nov 2020
6:05 pm

WATCH: SABC withdraws redundancy notices after day of high drama

Citizen reporter

Retrenchment notices were handed out to news staff, who then refused to go on air and after a heated meeting with management, the notices were withdrawn.

SABC senior news journalist Chriselda Lewis, right, berating Phathiswa Magopeni - group executive for news and current affairs - after retrenchment notices were handed out to news employees, 17 November 2020. Picture: Screengrab

The management of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have on Tuesday withdrawn the redundancy notices handed out to news staff earlier in the day, after the employees allegedly refused to go on air and demanded an urgent meeting with management.

During the hastily convened meeting with Phathiswa Magopeni – group executive for news and current affairs – the disgruntled employees aired their grievances in no uncertain terms.

Senior news journalist and Prime Time anchor Chriselda Lewis then took the floor, telling Magopeni in an impassioned speech to go back (to her office) and do what she was supposed to do, instead of retrenching people.

Watch the explosive clip here:

“Sis Pat, no. No! When you came here, this was not what we expected from you,” Lewis told Magopeni.

“We can’t sleep. It’s headed towards Christmas,” she said, with colleagues chanting “we can’t breathe”.

“This ship, we were here before you were even appointed to come here,” Lewis also said.

Shortly afterwards, Magopeni told staff in her division that she could not continue issuing letters of redundancy in the current climate at the public broadcaster.

Social media was quick to react to the news, with almost universal praise for Lewis speaking her mind, and for Magopeni listening and heeding her call.

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