‘Hlaudi Motsoeneng canned The Big Debate’

2013-10-17 18:19

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Acting SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has pulled the trigger on the corporation’s popular talk show, The Big Debate.

Motsoeneng has instructed the SABC2 commissioning bosses to bin the second season of the show, which was supposed to have started tonight.

Read: Who is Hlaudi Motsoeneng?

He also instructed them not to air the repeats of all the programmes they have already flighted on the channel.

Host Siki Mgabadeli has confirmed that the corporation canned the show and said they were trying to secure a meeting with Motsoeneng to establish the rationale behind his decision.

Mgabadeli said they had a meeting with the commissioning bosses about two months ago where they discussed the scripts of the shows they would shoot for the second season and they happily signed them off.

“We shot three episodes on the costs of telecommunications, the Marikana incident and another one in the US, which was funded by the UN,” she said.

The former SAfm presenter said they sent the commissioning bosses an email and asked them when they could submit the episodes for previewing, but they sent them from pillar to post.

On October 9, Mgabadeli said, they received an email from the commissioning bosses stating that the show has been canned and that there was no need for them to preview the episodes.

Their letter said it was an instruction from the chief operating officer (Motsoeneng).

“I’m so angry. We are talking here about the right of South Africans to know issues around telecommunications costs and the Marikana incident. The UN, which funded the show we filmed in the US, would want to view this show because they funded it. And what about people’s jobs in our production house?” she asked.

Mgabadeli was not forthcoming when asked if they would take the show to other media houses.

“We are going to shoot two more episodes in Cape Town this coming Saturday and we hope that we can resolve this matter with the SABC very soon. At the moment, we don’t even want to think about moving it to other media houses,” she said.

The show is donor sponsored and the content doesn’t cost the SABC a cent.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the programme had been ''incorrectly commissioned'' by the SABC when it was ''outsourced', Paddy Harper reports.

''It is against the policies of the SABC to outsource news and current affairs. Editorial responsibility for all news and current affairs content is vested in the newsroom. The Big Debate, which is a current affairs programme, was incorrectly commissioned by SABC2 and in so doing, the editorial oversight, which is the responsibility of the newsroom, was compromised,'' he said.

''This is all we are prepared say about the matter,'' he said.

» A date in this article was corrected after first published. The email mentioned was sent on October 9, not September 9. Kaizer Kganyago's comment was also added after he responded to an enquiry.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.