SABC reporters pathetic - SAfm founder

2011-01-21 14:15

Cape Town - The SABC's reporters are "pathetic" and the broadcaster is like a patient with multiple organ failure, the founder of SAfm and a candidate for a position on the broadcaster's board told MPs on Friday.

"Watch the BBC when there is a breaking story," Govin Reddy told MPs on Parliament's portfolio committee on communications.

"They will go on camera with someone in New York. The presenter who is interviewing, interviews with absolute authority. They have done the research, they know it all.

"You don't get that from the SABC. The reporters from [the] field are pathetic. I'm sorry to say."

Failing in its duty

Reddy, who started the broadcaster's radio news station SAfm in 1995, said the public broadcaster was failing in its duty of informing and educating the South African populace.

"The public broadcaster is supposed to inform and educate the SA populace," he said.

"You have to speak simple language and give context and background and educate. They don't do that. It is stories that are just blurted out."

News readers at the SABC haven't been trained, he said.

"News readers must be journalists. News readers must understand what they are reading. They mustn't be repeating words.

"If there is an important story, they must be an expert on that subject. They must talk to you with authority."

Cheap talkshow

Reddy said he had modelled SAfm on the BBC's Radio 4 as a high quality station, but that in recent years it had become "a cheap talkshow similar to 702".

"It was supposed to be a quality station catering to all South Africans. I wanted to have good documentaries and features, etcetera. Now it is a cheap radio talkshow similar to 702."

Reddy said he had spent five years at SABC at executive level and that he understood the dynamics and politics.

"When you are experienced, have expertise, and are a little older they tend to listen to you more," he said.

"I think I can play a conciliatory role. I have the skills and experience and the people skills to play an interventionist role to bring various warring factions together."

Multiple organ failure

The SABC, he said, was "like a patient with multiple organ failure".

"There is no point fixing kidneys when the lungs have also gone.

"You have to get everything right but you must start somewhere. You have to get the heart pumping, before everything else. The key to a turnaround at the SABC is to have the right people. Developing that human capital would be the starting point."

Fourteen nominees have been shortlisted by MPs to fill four vacancies on the SABC board left by a spate of resignations last year.

The candidates are being interviewed over three days this week. The committee is to present the names of the final four to the National Assembly on February 3. If approved, they are expected to take up their positions during the first quarter of this year.

The four posts became vacant when board members David Niddrie, Barbara Masekela, Felleng Sekha and Makgatho Mello left last October. Their exits followed months of infighting and complaints over a failure to produce a financial strategy for the cash-strapped SABC.

CEO Solly Mokoetle has also since resigned.

  • - 2011-01-21 14:28

    I recall now why I haven't watched SABC in about 5 years. On the suject of blurting, can some one do anything about the spokes persons for the various entities and departments. If not please remane them mumble person.

      Soothsayer - 2011-01-21 16:22

      Agree, but there is this black lady from the dept of housing who was interviewed by Debra Patta on Third Degree around the story of Bongani Ntuli who was selling RDP houses.She is damn good. Mcintoch Polela(aka Ndzimande, the spokesperson for Hawks is not bad

  • ggierke - 2011-01-21 14:29 like 702..... WTF are you going on about?

      bill - 2011-01-21 14:56

      Redi Direko for example is an unintelligable vaccuous bimbo that is only comfortable interviewing ANC politicians.So little talent , such a giant ego.

      jeremy - 2011-01-21 15:13

      Bill, you're an asshole! Redi is highly intelligent, extremely articulate and compassionate to boot! And if you've actually listened to her, you'll know she's hard on all politicians, regardless of party, if necessary. And as someone who's in the business, let me tell you you can't be a radio presenter if you;re a shrinking violet. A certain amount of ego goes with the job.

      LBS - 2011-01-21 15:19

      What about Kieno Kammies, repeats himself over and over and over.... and then you get these guys who spik so loud and stutter and.... oh, what a pain!

      lldoidge - 2011-01-21 15:25

      Redi Dereko is a fantastic journalist. You obviously don't listen to her very often. She interviews with impartiality without fear or favour! So Bill you are the weakest link - goodbye!

      lldoidge - 2011-01-21 15:27

      Bill and LBS. You're attacking two excellent presenters. Don't your radios have "OFF" buttons? Just push button and spare us your diatribe!

      Greg - 2011-01-21 15:53

      @ jeremy - Mansfield?

  • ian.d.samson - 2011-01-21 14:30

    Brilliant assessment. Just like the government.

  • watalife - 2011-01-21 14:31

    Mr Reddy, you must get a full bonus plus a free car with all the trimmings you have it spot on. They are useless to say the least They cant pronounce words correctly nor do they understand the content of the story.get rid of them and start with new reporters. I bet you Mr Reddy will be called a racist.

      Greg - 2011-01-21 14:40

      Bet you Mr Reddy won't even get the job - you can't be employed at SABC if you 'spik' the truth.

      Ingie - 2011-01-21 14:41

      Hi I totally agree with what hes saying. The words are misprounced, and the accent is to say the least. How they got to this level I have no idea. Yes, I know it must be something standing in front of the cameras but really surely one is interviewed or sent for speech lessons to try and get the accent etc correct.Its so embarrassing when someone is out from overseas and you have these so called reporters trying to do a story..pathetic. Also want to ask and maybe a reporter could reply..why do reporters say their name in a long tone and then the area in a short tone. Is this the way you are trained or just the way that you talk? Some reporters also speak sooo slow and others are a garble as they speak soo fast!!

      masterjane007 - 2011-01-21 16:50

      When I was in primary school our teacher used to spend hours and days trying to teach everyone not to sing-song when they read. You know, the way people let their voices go up and then down and then up and then down and break sentences up into these sing-song bits. The clever kids all got the reading right. The stupid ones not so much. You listen to news readers and journalists these days, they cannot even read without sing-songing. You'd think if they are not capable of understanding the topic of discussion,then at least learn to read properly without sing-songing. But no. But then again, it was always the losers who studied journalism, education etc. at university - the ones who were too stupid to get admittance to any of the other courses. So I guess we should not be too surprised.

  • GT - 2011-01-21 14:41

    Seems far to skilled and intelligent for the needs of the ANC in the SABC. They all seem to want lapdogs

  • ArtGee - 2011-01-21 14:43

    Look at who is running SABC / SAfm

  • garriga - 2011-01-21 14:47

    The art of stuffing up... if you're bad, you're sh!t. I don't even miss it. Mentally retarded, yes. Quality is a swear word equal to the k word. Spot on.

      The-man-who - 2011-01-21 15:24

      You guys are just pure racists with evil thoughts. You need to repent

  • ArtGee - 2011-01-21 14:48

    One thing they can attempt to do is BRUSH UP on their grammar / Vocabulary. You have to get tired of hearing the following: Beds = Birds Cat-AG-Gorry= Catagory Fu-ELL= Fuel Ve-Hi-Cals= Vehicles Noth-REN = Northern Suth-REN = Southern Tek-SEE = Taxi Hero-esses= Heroines Pronounce = Announce The list is endless!

      4daluvofSA - 2011-01-21 15:09

      I wonder if you have the same problems with the French, German, Spanish etc when they pronounce English words with an accent! If you spoke Zulu I wouldn't expect you to pronounce Zulu words like a Zulu! Next time think before you type. You should be grateful that at least other people make an effort to study your Language so that they can communicate with you since you are too lazy to learn theirs! If you are tired of hearing those mispronounced words then you should watch CNN and BBC...or are you also going to have a problem with the American accent coz their English is not that good either! VERY TYPICAL OF UNGRATEFUL, HYPOCYTICAL AND ALWAYS NEGATIVE SOUTH AFRICANS!!!

      Adams - 2011-01-21 15:15

      @4daluvofSA - You are correct , we would also sound stupid, and that is the very reason we would not try and do a job we are not capable of doing properly. Why accept substandard???? Are we really asking too much that people reporting in a language can speak it properly instead of bastardizing it?

      Reveal Them - 2011-01-21 15:17


      Reveal Them - 2011-01-21 15:19

      @4daluvofSA: You are obviously only happy if everything that means anything in this country is brought down to MEDIOCRITY...

      ILOVEME - 2011-01-21 15:34

      brush up grammar for who dear? At least they can speak English - how many of our whities have made effort to speak the African languages and pronounce everything perfectly......such double standards ArtGee....

      boepensmanvangraan - 2011-01-21 15:42

      Bah, grow a sense of humor. The whole world have been bored to the bone by English Elitism sipping on a whif 'o tea since 1910

      4daluvofSA - 2011-01-21 15:48

      @Adams and Reveal them, clearly you don't get my point. Those journalists and black politicians are not masters of pronounciation but we do understand what they are saying just like when an Indian speaks Zulu (which is called Fanakalo in DBN). We understand very well what they are trying to say and joke about it but at least they are trying and we dont punish them for trying. Maybe next time the SABC advertise posts for news reporters they should state as a prerequisite "speak fluent English and pronounce the words as if it was your mother tongue".

      Greg - 2011-01-21 16:03

      Pabi Moloi - just one black South African, and there are many more....... I wouldn't present on an Afrikaans program because I'm English, perhaps those who can't pronounce words that can be understood should stick to presenting on channels focussing on their home language. eTV, definitely a better quality. eTV on DSTV, outstanding quality (Newsreaders).....

      Sharpzinto - 2011-01-21 16:51

      You are a sick racist thing who musat board the next ship to Australia.

      Jenna - 2011-01-21 17:20

      4daluvofSA, I have a problem with a life guard that can't swim properly, does that make me ungrateful, hypocritical and negative ?

      BigD - 2011-01-22 08:16

      @4daluvofSA. My point exactly. That is why you hire Zulu speakers on Zulu programs. You hire people with good command of English for English programs. Your comment jsut proves the point that people are been hired who are not suitable for the job.

      onemantribe - 2011-01-26 08:57

      @ArtGee And that's just the white people!!!

      Jungle_Girl - 2011-02-02 08:38

      Unbelievable. Really. It is called an accent and I have no issue if somebody has an accent whether it be Zulu or Scottish. I do have an issue if the reporter is clueless which is the point. Now I wonder if an Irish person did the news would you be quite as vitriolic about their pronounciation?

      Zanu - 2011-02-02 08:40

      LOL Guys relax... its a Joke... a certain 'black' comedian in South Africa gave the same lines... Comedy? Heard of it?

  • bev18 - 2011-01-21 14:48

    Oy yeah, he is right on the nail and many of the programmes are dinosaurs, eg morning used to be so nice. Mind you, I never watch the SABC stations anymore.........yuck!

  • Adams - 2011-01-21 14:49

    100%. Thats what happens when incompetent people are hired unfortunately. Reminds one very much of the incompetent people in Parliament. That is nothing more than a glorified help yourself spaza shop. But hey look at who runs the show. Useless lot.

  • Melly30 - 2011-01-21 14:50

    Hello - I wonder why!! bwhaaaaa! Another embarrassment!

  • bill - 2011-01-21 14:53

    Give that man a Bells and make him CEO.

  • Pothole - 2011-01-21 14:54

    For sure Reddy will not get the job. The will appoint the most coruptible applicant, fire him after 6 months, give him a huge shake and get the kickbacks.

  • Dave - 2011-01-21 14:54


      Dave - 2011-01-21 15:01


      JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-18 17:59

      bwhahahahahahahahaaaa!!very good!!

  • Stryder - 2011-01-21 14:55

    What is the SABC?

      Nonto - 2011-01-21 15:22

      South African Bull Crap

      mrcnel - 2011-01-21 15:30

      south africas black community :)

      ILOVEME - 2011-01-21 15:30

      Aibo Stryder you don't know what SABC is - it stands for SILLY AIR BROADCASTING CORPORATION lol

      4daluvofSA - 2011-01-21 15:55

      @mrcnel, wow I am shocked, arent you the same person that was defending cyclists yesterday and made an example about generalising and using racism as an example? Funny how people choose to say +ve things when they are trying to get people to support them! I must say I am really shocked, I even felt sorry for you yesterday when they were calling you names! Guess you just wanted sympathy from the "Black Community"...

  • Dr. Zeek - 2011-01-21 14:56

    WTF? Founded SAFm? He merely rebranded the english language station that had been in existence for decades. That's like saying someone founded RSG. Load of codswallop! At least his honesty is in line with that of the SABC...

  • Justin - 2011-01-21 14:58

    Have you got a criminal record though? This is a prerequisite to get a job for the ANC

  • Wow! - 2011-01-21 15:02

    SABC - does it still exist?? Haven't listened to that for year. When last I did it was so pathetically irritating that I was frustrated for teh whole day. Now 702 - they do a good job and they actually asking probing questions.

      kapie55 - 2011-02-02 09:40

      702 and CAPETALK. Yes I also moved on from the stupid SAFM ANC microphone and the RSG stupid Afrikaans music station to CAPETALK / 702. What a revelation. Interesting, no political connections, no egos (except Kieno Kammies who just looovves his own voice and forces his opinions on the listeners, but he is on after 9 pm, so you can just swithch off) Intelligent radio, absolutely the best radio in South Africa. And then there is John Maythem. What a wonderful intelligent man

  • Jim - 2011-01-21 15:03

    Gees man u wanna take over the SABC and become everything now. I though they were interviewing for the board position!

      Danie - 2011-01-21 15:43

      He seems like the perfect man for the job.

  • k1dbl4ck - 2011-01-21 15:04

    It's so nice when an Indian says this... cos now there is no race card in the deck. You tell em Mr. Reddy.

      mrcnel - 2011-01-21 15:29

      oh yeah! lets see them argue this one without that card in the deck

      4daluvofSA - 2011-01-21 16:19

      @mrcnel, again...shocked! Here's a few of your quotes from yesterday on the topic "Motorists, be considerate" and how you went on and on defending cyclists and how South Africans like to "generalise"? 1) "1 white gets murdered by another race, & all of a sudden everyone in that race automatically becomes the enemy..." 2) "Just because a certain amount of people do something that you don’t like, doesn’t make everyone in that ‘category’ the same". 3) "Just because 1 Islamic extremist decided to blow something up, doesn’t mean that ALL of Islam are terrorists; just because 1 politician is corrupt, doesn’t meant that ALL politicians’ are corrupt. You get my point". The abovementioned are the best "3" of your quotes from yesterday... By the way, who is them?

  • Jan-Albert - 2011-01-21 15:06

    I take offence at Mr Reddy attacking 702/567! The SABC can surely learn a lot from the crowd of hugely intelligent presenters on those stations!

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-01-21 15:07

    Well said!!!!

  • Paul - 2011-01-21 15:11

    Stopped listening to SAfm after their horrible treatment of John Pearlman who was the only person worth listening to on the station.702 might be small minded talk radio but it does fill some of the void left by what is called SAfm these days.

      Jo - 2011-01-21 15:22

      agreed. I used to listen and contribute to the After8 debate every day. I kept tuning in after the Pearlman nonsense, but the bias and prejudice became so obvious and ridiculous that I never went back.

      Stevie - 2011-01-21 16:05

      Agree Paul, John was a professional. I do not understand why the broadcasters make use of any one; black or white or purple, who is unable to speak or pronounce the language fluently, it would be the same if they put a white guy on a Xhosa channel, unless he was exceptional it would come across to Xhosa speakers as a poor show. Its not about second or third language speakers trying hard or that people should understand that English is not their first language, its about putting the right people in the role. There are several black news readers who speak very well, in fact exceptionally well, where have they all gone ? I no longer watch SABC, I think Redi is excellent.

  • Shisstirrer QBE - 2011-01-21 15:11

    Have you heard these palooka's pronounce FA Cup , it sounds like efuckup .

      mrcnel - 2011-01-21 15:26


      JanRatkas - 2011-01-26 06:01

      Not far off though...

      JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-18 18:00

      many a true word spoken in jest? bwahahahaaaa very well put!!

  • Reveal Them - 2011-01-21 15:16

    I pay my TV license but I have not watched or listened to an SABC channel for about three to five years. All their programs were shown on other channels in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's.

      goyougoodthing - 2011-01-21 15:42

      Ek tu ally you are right. I pay a license too and never listen or watch their mess. Why should I?

  • di - 2011-01-21 15:22

    That's why I don't watch SABC. I always maintained that it might as well be radio for the lack of visual coverage we get.

  • AndV - 2011-01-21 15:22

    The best way "forward" is to formally nationalise the SABC and rename it ANCBC. Make Malema the CEO and you will see how it flourishes. C'on, wake up! I am funding it now, because the law forces me, but my money, those that are not stolen, are officially used for golden-handshakes allround, ask Solly. These guys are so useless, there is no words to express it properly. They are shameless in their persuit of greedyness and are not held responsible. Nyanda set a good example for them. The "African-syndrome...."

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-01-21 15:23

    Reddy to Govin the SABC....Yeh Mon, right on !!! Let English (1st Language) reporters report in English cos at the moment they are speaking a language thats foreign to all in this countree...alas, SABC is just another parastatal whose losses will be funded by you & I..

  • AndV - 2011-01-21 15:24

    The best way "forward" is to formally nationalise the SABC and rename it ANCBC. Make Malema the CEO and you will see how it flourishes. C'on, wake up! I am funding it now, because the law forces me, but my money, those that are not stolen, are officially used for golden-handshakes allround, ask Solly. These guys are so useless, there is no words to express it properly. They are shameless in their persuit of greedyness and are not held responsible. Nyanda set a good example for them. The "African-syndrome...."

  • mrcnel - 2011-01-21 15:25

    FINALLY someone has had the balls to speak up about that...u watch a sabc presenter in New York dressed to kill, looking sharp, UNTIL he opens his mouth! if our aa friend cant speak english, please dont make him an international reporter! No wonder foreigners still think we have lions roaming the streets!!

  • ILOVEME - 2011-01-21 15:26

    Spot on Reddy- I hate paying DSTV so much money for their repeats but SABC is not even an alternative - so better the other silly devil than pitful sad really

  • Phutie - 2011-01-21 15:31

    maybe if they hire white people,white people could be cannot expect a Sotho speaking person to be fluent in Zulu.The accent shall always differ.Here is a solution for you whiners,do not listen of watch their channel.Problem solved for those who always see a problem but not solution

      Spyker - 2011-01-21 18:26

      Phutie, You are a great apologist of 'ANC logic': we don’t fix the problem we get rid of the people who complain about it... The same kind of logic used in Zimbabwe, Chad, Ivory Coast.., wait – the entire sub-Sahara Africa. Except Botswana – but they just think like white people there, so we should just get rid of them...

      lldoidge - 2011-01-21 20:30

      Phutie, you have it wrong. We had our share of white people doing SABC during the bad old days and they were as bad as the lot we have how. What do they have in common? Both didn't speak English as a 1st language. In those days we had thick Afrikaaners mis pronouncing everything. It's not a black and white thing at all. Have you heard the woman on ETV on prime time. Perfect English and she isn't white. Redi has an accent on 702 but it is understandable. It's when the words are pronounced so badly that you can't work out what they are saying.

  • lldoidge - 2011-01-21 15:32

    Reminds me of the time sombody was reporting from KZN. She was reporting on a rapist that was attacked by the community. They had severed his testicles with glass. The reporting went "he had his testIcles severed". I had to listen to a couple of bulletins to get what she was saying. I don't watch SABC anymore. Mind you ETV is not much better. Have you noticed how both broadcasters always have the same bulletins?

  • lldoidge - 2011-01-21 15:38

    Reminds me of the time sombody was reporting from KZN. She was reporting on a rapist that was attacked by the community. They had severed his testicles with glass. The reporting went "he had his testIcles severed". I had to listen to a couple of bulletins to get what she was saying. I don't watch SABC anymore. Mind you ETV is not much better. Have you noticed how both broadcasters always have the same bulletins?

  • Nikonino - 2011-01-21 15:54

    What the SABC presenters need are little bones thought their noses to complete the effect.

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-01-21 15:55

    Just how many of 'the people' pay their TV licences? Less than those that pay for electricity I bet.

  • ISHMIZA - 2011-01-21 15:57

    It looks like whinning is part of a "white" culture. there are no Genuine unselfish and constructive complaints anymore, yes SABC SUCKS!, but blacks this ANC this only fuels die Swart Gevaar that most people are scared of, even I am scared of die swart gevaar, I must say NEWS24 is contributing and giving plartform to scared idiots and moegoes.

      Nikonino - 2011-01-21 16:06

      So us "white" people mustn't whine, we must just accept the crap that is dished up, even though we pay TV licenses? No, we whine because we are sick of all the incompetence in this country that we have to deal with daily!

      goyougoodthing - 2011-01-21 16:27

      So what must be do, accept it like every one else/ No way man I will complain I just won't march and set fire to trains while doing it.

      AJ - 2011-02-04 06:42

      Did you mean to say winning or whining?

  • edmead - 2011-01-21 16:48


  • Whitefedup - 2011-01-21 16:54

    this is so true .yet these assholes gave that dip0shit mokoetle a 3.4 Mil parting gift ..... way to go .......

  • Pedro - 2011-01-21 17:08

    Isn't it time to appoint people of talent regardless of race?

  • - 2011-01-21 17:37

    BAck int he day an Afrikaans person was not allowed to report with an accent and I know of a few who were turned away because of their accents. I take my hat off to all who are able to speak a second language, but please if you are on national television, make sure that your grammer and pronunciation are spot on! I often listen to the reporters and am totally clueless as to what they are trying to say! I think all who are on television and in radio should go for speech therapy! Please note I said ALL!

  • Spyker - 2011-01-21 18:30

    ... We persist in avoiding the common denominator... ...

      goyougoodthing - 2011-01-21 18:39

      Because to admit would be acknowledging the massive elephant in the room and would also be 'racist'

      Staal_Burger - 2011-01-21 19:00

      @goyougoodthing, So if I admit to the info above and I call the Japanese INTELLIGENT – then I would be a racist..??

  • Lindinha - 2011-01-21 18:34

    I only watch SABC programmes when I need a good laugh.

  • AquaticApe - 2011-01-21 21:12

    It's not the accent, it's the pronunciation and even worse, it's the content. I too pay the stealth tax for the ANCBC yet never ever tune to their programmes. The e-news channel on DSTV is just marginally better but at least they have some really good reporters that can make themselves understood. I stopped watching any SABC TV channel when PW interfered in the news and have never been back. Thank goodness by the sound of it....

  • Macho Mike - 2011-01-21 22:39

    Eish, Mr Reddy, the answer she is simple.The mouthpiece of Africans National Circus (ANC) she is speaking to people she does not want to educate to a decent level. Now those previously educated display there uneducated levels. Like the pop group, Simple Minds.

      JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-18 18:04

      eish! nou ek is demmaka!

  • skollie - 2011-01-21 23:40

    Incompetent leadership. Wants everything for nothing. Look who's running the show no wonder. Was visiting South-Africa about 6 years ago and saw the level of pro's working at the defunct SABC. Man it made us laugh. Put some light skin people in charge and you will see a difference. Three godamn channels what a joke.

  • erneyb - 2011-01-22 13:55

    SABC reporters will stay "pathetic" when they appoint engineers, business managers, politicians and the like to the SABC board ? Maybe appoint communication experts like heads of communication at tersiary educational institutions and experts in communications in the private sector to the SABC board. I suppose non of these experts will put themselves forward as they know that the government will appoint their political chronies which will "run" the show.

  • - 2011-01-26 10:19

    The entire SABC is pathetic,including TV with re runs and outdated programming.

  • Jungle_Girl - 2011-02-02 08:36

    I love 702 you pompous fool and they are light years ahead of SAfM. SAFM is so far behind the top stories and the reports are so tedious you could weep. They waffle and cowtow to whichever politician is being interviewed. If you have an issue with the station that's dandy but let's not compare it to a real talk station like 702

  • Perfume - 2011-02-02 23:34

    The SABC, he said, was "like a patient with multiple organ failure". hmmmmmmm lol...I prefer watching etv news