EFF was sidelined by SABC - Jimi Matthews

Johannesburg - Former SABC boss Jimi Matthews said that broadcaster made sure the EFF received “limited coverage” at the behest of Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, ENCA reported on Sunday.

Matthews resigned last week under a cloud as the furore at the state broadcaster continued.

In his resignation letter, Matthews said Motsoeneng had fostered a climate of censorship and political pandering at the SABC, resulting in the suspension of several journalists.

In the interview with Eusebius McKaiser, Matthews said that the EFF had been side-lined by Motsoeneng and certain “individuals in the ruling party”.

“When Julius Malema started becoming a nuisance in the Youth League [ANC] and when the EFF was launched and a decision that it would not be a good idea to cover Malema and his cohorts,” he said.

“It was my decision…it was bigger than me. It was agreeing with the views expressed both inside the SABC and by individuals outside the SABC,” he conceded.  

“Certain individuals in the ruling party including people like Hlaudi were of the view that we should not be giving Julius and his crowd coverage, which is an example where I should have said no, that was ridiculous.”

Matthews said the SABC should have given the EFF more coverage than they did. 

He added that the broadcaster would be better off without Motsoeneng at the helm. 

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