SABC veteran journalist John Perlman resigns

By Gill Gifford Time of article published Jan 30, 2007

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John Perlman, the outspoken news anchor and talk-show host of SAfm's AM Live, has resigned from the SABC.

Perlman, a veteran journalist and presenter of the English service's morning news show, tendered his resignation Monday in a move that appears to have caught colleagues and SABC management off guard.

"I only heard about this Monday night. I cannot say anything yet. I just have to discuss this with people in my office so we can decide what to say," said Kaizer Kganyago, spokesperson for the public broadcaster, said Tuesday morning.

Perlman's resignation comes soon after the resignation of his co-host Nikiwe Bikitsha. Bikitsha will serve her last day as co-anchor of AM Live on Wednesday, before leaving to take up a position as a news anchor for CNBC Africa. She begins her new job at the news network on April 1.

Perlman's resignation comes after a storm of controversy involving the blacklisting of several political commentators by the SABC.

Last year, Perlman was embroiled in an on-air debate with Kganyago after he confronted the spokesman about the blacklisting.

Dali Mpofu, CEO of the SABC, appointed a commission of inquiry headed by Zwelakhe Sisulu to look into the alleged blacklisting.

The report on the commission's findings was finalised in October, last year when Mpofu announced that it would not be released to the public after issuing a summarised statement.

Both the Mail & Guardian and Sunday Times placed the report on their websites where it remains after the SABC failed in its High Court bid to have it removed.

Perlman could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.

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