Vuyo Mvoko still waiting for SABC disciplinary process

2017-03-01 21:09
Vuyo Mvoko (File, City Press)

Vuyo Mvoko (File, City Press)

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Cape Town - SABC producer Vuyo Mvoko has been out of work for eight months while he waits for the outcome of an internal disciplinary process.

Mvoko wrote a letter in July, titled My Hell at SABC, in which he described his personal experience of editorial interference at the public broadcaster. The letter was published in the Star and Pretoria News.

Soon after, Mvoko received a letter from the SABC, informing him that he was in breach of his contract and would not be scheduled to appear on television until a disciplinary process had been completed.  

In August, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled that Mvoko was "jumping the gun" with his unlawful termination suit against the SABC, saying internal disciplinary processes should first be completed.

Mvoko told News24 that the last he heard from the SABC was in August, following the court case.

He said the SABC's lawyers had told him that he could have his job back if he withdrew his statements against the broadcaster.

'No work to do'

"I simply cannot retract my statements. It is about my personal integrity."

Mvoko said he has not heard anything from the SABC since then.

"I have received no word when the disciplinary process would be completed and, in the meantime, I have no work to do," he said.

Mvoko sustains himself with the help of friends.

"I have to rely on people close to me: I help a friend with a project, help a little with writing, but it's not nearly enough."

He said he had made an application to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

"My lawyers are generous to help me for free, they understand the matter at hand," Mvoko said.

The court is yet to set a date for a hearing.

Collective responsibility

In 2016, Mvoko and the rest of the so-called SABC 8 were fired for opposing a new policy censoring the broadcast of protests. Seven of them were later reinstated. The group appeared in front of the parliamentary ad hoc committee tasked to investigate the SABC.  

The committee adopted a draft final report on Friday.

Mvoko said he hoped the committee's report would correct the wrongs of the past.  

"The hearing itself has been a step in the right direction, [but] often in the case of these hearings we have to wait to see the final outcome of the report," Mvoko said.

A credible interim board should be appointed that would have the guts to make the right decisions at the SABC, Mvoko said.

Mvoko said he did not believe one individual was responsible for the SABC's problems.

"All of us [played a role in bringing] the SABC where it is, we were there over the years and did not speak up when we saw what was happening.

"All of us together should take responsibility for what has happened."

The journalist has been involved with the public broadcaster for more than nine years.

SABC spokesperson Kaiser Kganyago could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    sabc  |  media freedom  |  media

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