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ANC Influence On SABC News Head Getting Sacked

Jan 31, 2022

By Umamah Bakharia

The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has expressed concern over what they believe is a political interference” at the SABC.

The public broadcaster on Friday confirmed that it had sacked its group executive of news and current affairs, Phathiswa Magopeni with immediate effect. The announcement came after Magopeni was found guilty of misconduct last month for failing to stop the broadcast of an interdicted episode of a SABC’s current affairs programme.

Since then, Mogopeni is said to legally challenge her dismissal.

Radio Islam spoke to SANEF’s Judy Sanderson on the possible political interference in Magopeni’s termination from SABC.

“There is a lot to question surround[ing] about why she [Mago[eni] was charged alone before there was even a proper investigation,” says Sanderson.

Having worked a few years for the SABC & the familiarity on how the broadcaster works, Sanderson says: “There seems to be a lot of flaws in the whole [disciplinary] process and it’s also just very suspicious that charging her on the heels of senior members of the ANC accuding [Mogopeni] of bias when she she is one of the most free-thinking and independent head of news.”

She says that the influence from the ANC might be because the ruling party tried to get more coverage to increase the likeability.

“As a professional editor, its a push back when it is unreasonable,” says Sanderson.

SANEF is calling for a proper investigation on Magopeni’s termination before concluding on a speculation.

“Its worrying,” says Sanderson as she stresses this could not be good for the future of journalism.

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