The SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe says that he believes that he and two other executives are standing in the way of the bailout. Mxakwe, who has concluded his testimony at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Parktown, Johannesburg, told the Commission’s Chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that every month, he has to convince someone from the executive not to resign.
“I feel, and that’s how the three executives feel and by the way, that’s one of the reasons why we lost a key member of the exec team, the acting COO, is we feel as a team we are standing in the way of this bailout. And I do not know what will happen after this, but the truth of the matter is that we cannot continue the way things are. In the interest of the SABC, certain tough decisions need to be taken.”
SABC Head of News Phatiswa Magopeni has described a newsroom that had fallen into serious decay when she joined in March 2018.
Magopeni, who has also been testifying at the Commission, says that a failure of leadership was in evidence, where journalists did not trust their editors, but simply followed instructions.
She says there were no clear reporting lines.
Magopeni was appointed not long after SABC COO Hlaudi Motseneng, who had taken responsibility for the editorial functions of the newsroom, was fired from the public broadcaster.
“You are sitting there as a producer and there comes a call. Ordinarily, calls that go to the control room are calls that come from the system in the newsroom. It’s either someone telling you about an update on a script or something else has been added to the bulletin, but these would be calls from external parties telling the producers not to put something, certain content on air or to change stories that are running.”
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