Ex-spokesperson says SABC distorted statement

2014-07-20 07:21

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Polokwane - Former spokesperson for the office of the North West premier, Lesiba Kgwele, on Saturday accused the SABC of distorting a press statement about his dismissal.

"Lesiba Kgwele has lodged a complaint against the SABC with the Press Ombudsman for the public broadcaster's distortion of his statement responding to his widely publicised dismissal from the Office of the Premier," he said in a statement.

On Tuesday acting director general in the office of the premier Johannes Rantete said Kgwele had been fired following a disciplinary hearing.

"Mr Kgwele was charged among others with gross insubordination and failure to carry out lawful orders and routine instructions without reasonable cause."

Kgwele said he wanted to complain to the ombudsman over how the SABC reported on the story.

Political plot

"The SABC first broadcast the statement issued by the acting director general without seeking my comment and, contrary to the statement that I had issued, reported that I had alleged that senior politicians are involved in the bigger orchestrated plot to purge and ultimately destroy me."

He argued that "such insensitive distortions and sensationalised reporting" could potentially jeopardise the appeal process and were a violation of his constitutional rights.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said that the state broadcaster was not regulated by the press ombudsman, but by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA).

"If the matter is sent to the BCCSA, we will be able to respond once we have received such from them."

In a statement on Tuesday Kgwele said he remained an employee of the North West provincial government until the appeal process was finalised or he had accepted the dismissal.

"The impression being created that I appeared before a disciplinary hearing and was found guilty of misconduct is a misrepresentation of facts and part of a much bigger orchestrated plot to purge and ultimately destroy me.

"It is unfortunate that power has been abused, individuals manipulated and state resources used to settle a personal grudge," he said at the time.

Read more on:    sabc  |  polokwane  |  politics  |  media

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