22 July 2016


After 1994 our expectations were that the appalling South African Broadcasting Corporation would be transformed, and South Africa would have access to news that had been censored for so many years under the apartheid years.

Now in 2016 there is a new police state-type of censorship being reimposed by an upstart who believes he can do as he likes to run the SABC and control the journalists and staff who try to run a modern, up-to-date digital age organisation.

Wrong! Hlaudi Motsoeneng has other ideas. According to an article in the Daily Maverick on 21 JULY 2016, "Zwelinzima Vavi, who has publicly supported the dismissed workers, on Wednesday pointed the blame at Motsoeneng. 'Hlaudi Motsoeneng is a self-confessed President Jacob Zumas acolyte. He owes his position as the now de-facto head of the SABC to those, like him, who will do all that they can to be in the good books of No.1. If President Jacob Zuma is the deity, the god of patronage, then Hlaudi is his worshipping emperor,' he said. 'What is at stake here is not some small or insignificant workplace dispute. This is a test of strength that if allowed to go unchallenged will most definitely impcat on the future of our democracy.'"

The following report comes from the Sunday Times online in South Africa:

Hlaudi caves as SABC furore comes to a head


SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. File photo.
Image by: ALON SKUY

The SABC has been forced to get off its high horse and comply with the Independent Communications Authority of SA's order that it desist from censoring the news.

The letter constituted a major about-face by Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC's COO, who last week said he would challenge Icasa's ruling in court.

Also yesterday, the SABC reached an out-of-court settlement with the Helen Suzman Foundation with regard to news censorship.

The Pretoria High Court yesterday interdicted the SABC from implementing its new policy on the televising of protest violence, pending a final determination.

ANC insiders said yesterday that the "mismanagement" of the corporation by Motsoeneng and the board were coming to an end.

"There is no more place to hide, and their actions will be exposed,'' said a senior ANC source. "We cannot be ruled by individuals who have no clue what it takes to run the SABC. The sooner this ends the better."

Yesterday, parliament added its voice, saying it was "deeply concerned" by the summary dismissal by the SABC this week of eight of its senior journalists.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has been summoned by parliament's communications oversight committee to report on August 23 on the status of all entities that report to her, including the SABC.

"Although we are not privy to the details of the cases, resignations and dismissals are a concern, especially in a country with high unemployment," said Humphrey Maxegwana, chairman of the parliamentary communications portfolio committee.

The committee had noted the Pretoria High Court's SABC judgment and hoped the corporation would comply with it.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said President Jacob Zuma should appoint a commission of inquiry into the SABC board's inability to perform its duties and the "unconstitutional" editorial policies being enforced by the leadership of the SABC.

Maimane said the commission should also look into allegations by former SABC executives that opposition political parties were deliberately cut out of news coverage.

"This request comes in the wake of a series of scandals, legal findings and public outrage against the SABC," said Maimane.

The SACP has also called for the immediate removal of Motsoeneng.

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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm