SABC hires new head of news

Johannesburg - The South African Broadcasting Corporation has announced that it has appointed a new Group Executive: News and Current Affairs.

Journalist and academic Phathiswa Magopeni is to take over the position in March, the public broadcaster said in a statement.

Magopeni replaces disgraced former head of news Simon Tebele, who was found liable for a portion of the legal costs for the wrongful dismissal of the SABC8, together with the SABC and its former controversial Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Tebele was the front man in the axing of the SABC 8 - the eight journalists fired by the public broadcaster in July 2016 for criticising Motsoeneng's policy against the airing of footage of violent protests.

The journalists are the late Suna Venter, Foeta Krige, Krivani Pillay, Thandeka Gqubule, Busisiwe Ntuli, Lukhanyo Calata, Vuyo Mvoko and Jacques Steenkamp.

Seven of the eight journalists were subsequently rehired following a High Court ruling. The SABC has also hired Chris Maroleng as its new COO.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said Mogopeni's appointment was in line with the corporation's continuous commitment to ensure that all group executive vacancies are filled in order to achieve sound governance in all the SABC's business units.

"It also affirms our commitment to attract and retain the best skills to address the evolving broadcasting environment enabled by technology."

Under her belt, Magopeni has an Honours degree, a Master of Philosophy in Education, Integrated Marketing Communications Diploma and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

She is currently working on a proposal for a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree with Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), the SABC said.

"With her great experience in the field of broadcasting as a seasoned journalist, and having [been] able to successfully manage one of the newsrooms in South Africa, Ms Magopeni will surely take the SABC to greater heights."

Maroleng added: "We believe that her appointment will further strengthen our position as a credible and reliable news and information provider in the country as we approach the national general elections in 2019."

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