There is no revolt at the SABC, the public broadcaster’s board Chairperson Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe said on Tuesday.
“The SABC is stable,” he told reporters at the organisation’s Auckland Park head office, via video link from the SABC’s Polokwane studio.
He said he was surprised people thought there was an internal revolt. He believed they were spreading rumours and simply wanted to keep the SABC from achieving its mandate.
“We need to also understand that people can’t be SABC employees forever. People come and go,” he said.
Prof Maguvhe said disciplining employees was an internal matter, referring to the suspension of three SABC journalists last Thursday.
Economics editor Thandeka Gqubule, RSG executive producer Foeta Krige and Afrikaans news producer Suna Venter were served with papers stating that they were suspended indefinitely. They had raised questions about a decision not to cover the Right2Know campaign’s protest outside the SABC’s Auckland Park office.
The broadcaster has faced increasing criticism following COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s decision last month not to show footage of violent protests. “It’s an internal matter and I believe the executives with power invested in them have quality and experience to discipline when needed,” Prof Maguvhe said.
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“People are not irreplaceable. We have a lot of talent at the SABC and people who are going out can be replaced.” He appealed to political parties not to interfere in the SABC’s decision as it is a public organisation. The broadcaster would launch channels to cater for Venda and Afrikaans speakers in future, he said. Prof Maguvhe said he respected Acting Group CEO Jimi Matthews’s decision to resign and wished him well.
On Monday, Matthews said the SABC’s “corrosive atmosphere” had negatively affected his moral judgement, and made him complicit in decisions he “was not proud of”.
Prof Maguvhe confirmed that James Aguma will take over from Matthews. Audrey Raphela was appointed the new acting CFO.