* This story has been updated
CAPE TOWN - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has suspended three permanent employees and unscheduled one freelancer following evidence showing that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent speech to the nation was "sabotaged".
The incident occurred on Thursday evening last week, when the SABC news channel aired an incorrect clip of Ramaphosa’s pre-recorded address to the nation on The Full View programme.
The SABC’s preliminary investigation into the incident has revealed that material for the 6pm broadcast of the President’s pre-recorded address was prepared in good time to ensure a clean transmission. However, unauthorised changes were effected without any communication to the desk. Consequently, the programme published and played the rehearsal clip from Ramaphosa’s recorded address to the nation, instead of the final version, according to SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu.
The public broadcaster’s Group chief executive Madoda Mxakwe said: “The SABC will not tolerate any acts or omissions that bring the public broadcaster into disrepute, and undermine efforts to eradicate systemic problems of malfeasance and maladministration plaguing the institution.”