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Political interference at SABC - letter

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IOL news  sabc_nov 12

Independent Newspapers

File photo by Cara Viereckle

Johannesburg - An anonymous letter purportedly written by SABC reporters, producers and presenters indicated concerns of political interference at the state broadcaster, according to a report on Monday.

The Times reported that in the letter there were complaints that journalists were “taken to task” for not giving adequate coverage to President Jacob Zuma.

The letter was unsigned, apparently because the authors feared they would be victimised, and was addressed to the SABC board and acting news head Jimi Mathews.

“The climate of uncertainty and fear has created a state of paranoia in both the television and radio news rooms and has lowered morale,” the letter reads.

According to the newspaper, it contained allegations that some programmes were cancelled after the content was announced on air, and when talk show guests had already arrived.

Political journalists were allegedly removed from their posts and analysts from their regular shows without explanation.

There were also complaints that stories about expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema were “treated differently”.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago denied to The Times that Mathews or the board had received the note and said the SABC had received no complaints about the issues it raised. - Sapa


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