Media24 faces allegations of workplace toxicity, former employee speaks out

Journalist Mihlali Ntsabo accused Media24 of fostering a toxic work environment. | Screenshot

Journalist Mihlali Ntsabo accused Media24 of fostering a toxic work environment. | Screenshot

Published Jul 10, 2024


Durban — In a shocking revelation posted on social media, multi-award-winning journalist Mihlali Ntsabo has accused Media24 of fostering a toxic work environment and failing to address his complaints of intimidation and bullying.

Ntsabo, a former employee of News24, detailed his grievances in a candid statement on X (formerly Twitter), implicating several senior figures within the organisation.

Contacted to establish if he would take his complaint to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), Ntsabo said he would not comment.

“So word got to me that Media24 is considering taking legal action against me, which is fine. I want people to know the kind of toxicity that News24’s editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson has created and fostered at the place. I’m here to speak my truth,” he wrote on X.

Ntsabo’s accusations primarily target Basson, and specific editorial team members, including Nokuthula Manyathi, multimedia editor, and Bertram Malgas, deputy multimedia editor.

Ntsabo said that despite repeated attempts to raise concerns about workplace harassment and misconduct, his complaints were allegedly ignored or mishandled by Media24’s HR department.

“I had repeatedly tried to bring the intimidation and bullying … only to be met with little to no movement on my HR complaint,” Ntsabo posted.

He claimed efforts to directly engage Basson through text messages, emails and meetings also yielded no action against his alleged harassers.

Ntsabo accused Manyathi of creating a hostile work environment, alleging his work hours were misreported and his medical needs disregarded.

“I had to work under and deal with an editor who would file days I had asked to work from home as sick leave,” Ntsabo wrote, highlighting the “pattern of unfair treatment”.

He also disclosed personal health struggles including a hospitalisation attributed to work-related stress. Despite these challenges, Ntsabo asserted that Media24 management, including Basson and HR officials, failed to adequately support him.

“I refuse to be silent. I one hundred percent refuse to be silent,” Ntsabo said in his post. In response to the allegations, Media24 declined to comment.

“Media24 does not comment on confidential and private matters related to staff or any other internal processes.

“All claims of alleged or potential transgressions of our Code of Conduct are investigated diligently, follow due process and ensure care support for employees concerned,” said Media24 head of communication Egbert de Waal.

Basson could not comment as he was on leave, while acting editor Pieter du Toit and Manyathi also did not comment despite News24 public editor George Claassen referring the enquiry to them.

The situation continues to develop as public reaction to Ntsabo’s allegations gains momentum online, with supporters rallying behind his stance against workplace mistreatment.

Ntsabo’s revelations have sparked a broader conversation about workplace culture in the media industry, prompting calls for transparency and reform.

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