News24 Wire
2 minute read
7 Dec 2020
6:35 pm

SABC board dismisses media report on news boss as ‘false, misleading’

News24 Wire

The board denied that it had charged Group Executive: News and Current Affairs Phathiswa Magopeni for telling news staff that she was abandoning retrenchments.

General views of the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) building in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, 18 November 2020. Picture: Michel Bega

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board has dismissed a Sunday report on the public broadcaster’s news boss as “false and misleading”.

“The article contains several false, misleading and completely fictitious information about [the] alleged SABC Board’s decision on the Group Executive: News and Current Affairs, Ms Phathiswa Magopeni. The SABC Board would like to make it emphatically clear that it has never had any discussions or taken any decision to ‘charge’ Ms Magopeni,” the board said in a statement on Monday.

This comes after the Sunday World reported that the board, led by Chair Bongumusa Makhathini, had allegedly decided to charge its group executive for news: Phathiswa Magopeni for defying the broadcaster’s resolution to implement retrenchments.

The report alleged that this came after Magopeni told news staff that she was abandoning retrenchments just days after 50 staff members were served with notices.

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“We consider these allegations as completely malicious and false and record that no such discussion took place. Apart from the fact that the SABC Board cannot involve itself in operational matters or editorial affairs, the Board is deeply concerned that the Sunday World, relying on information allegedly from ‘some Board members’, has completely invented a Board discussion, including the alleged charges levelled against Ms Magopeni,” the statement reads.

According to the publication, the board would allegedly be kickstarting the process of charging Magopeni once “the stand-off between the unions and the public broadcaster had been resolved”.

“The Board strongly rejects the claim by the Sunday World that a disciplinary process has been ‘kickstarted’ by the Board against Ms Magopeni. Again, no such discussion took place.

“It should be noted that Ms Magopeni does not report directly to the SABC Board and therefore the Sunday World’s claims are baseless and without foundation,” the board added.

As a result, the SABC Board is demanding a retraction by the Sunday World for the article which it has dubbed as “false and misleading”.

The public broadcaster has extended the suspension of the retrenchment process to the end of December, Fin24 reported.

The Labour Court also recently dismissed a bid by a union, the Broadcast, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) to halt the retrenchment process, Fin24 reported.

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