SABC bosses defend Metro FM Mangaung talkshow gag

2012-12-05 16:15
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

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Johannesburg - Acting SABC operations chief Hlaudi Motsoeneng and radio group executive Lesley Ntloko have admitted that they were responsible for stopping a live Metro FM talkshow debate on the ANC’s upcoming national conference.

Both said the show lacked balance and fairness without an ANC representative and contravened the SABC’s editorial policy.

Ntloko blamed the last-minute cancellation on the late arrival of show briefings, which he said were usually sent earlier in the day to the station’s bosses.

Political journalists S’thembiso Msomi, Sam Mkokeli and Andrew England were scheduled to discuss reporting on the ruling party's elective congress on the show when SABC bosses called one of the show's producers to cancel the discussion.

"We felt there was no balance and fairness," Ntloko said.

Motsoeneng said they took the decision after analysis and checking.

"People didn’t follow proper procedures," he said.

He said the debate would continue if the panel is balanced.

"We mean business at the SABC, this is leadership at its best," Motsoeneng said.

Sakina Kamwendo, the talkshow's host, will meet her bosses and a decision on what action she will face will be taken thereafter, according to Motsoeneng.

Motsoeneng warned there could be consequences for Kamwendo if it is found she did not follow the
SABC’s editorial policy.

He denied politics had played a role in the decision.

"People try their luck but we can’t allow people to influence our decisions," Motsoeneng said.

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