Political interference at SABC - letter

2012-12-10 09:07

Johannesburg - An anonymous letter purportedly written by SABC reporters, producers and presenters has raised concerns of political interference at the state broadcaster, according to a report on Monday.

The Times reported that the letter contained complaints that journalists were "taken to task" for not giving adequate coverage to President Jacob Zuma.

The letter was addressed to the SABC board and acting news head Jimi Matthews, but was unsigned, apparently because the authors feared they would be victimised.

"The climate of uncertainty and fear has created a state of paranoia in both the television and radio newsrooms and has lowered morale," the letter reads.

According to the newspaper, the letter contained allegations that some programmes were cancelled after the content was announced on air, and when talkshow guests had already arrived.

Political journalists were allegedly removed from their posts and analysts from their regular shows without explanation.

There were also complaints that stories about expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema were "treated differently".

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago denied to The Times that Matthews or the board had received the note, and said the SABC had received no complaints about the issues it raised.

  • flower.fourie - 2012-12-10 09:15

    So this is how it really begins ANC you should be ashamed. Employing apartheid style tactics. I'm scared for my fellow countrymen.

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-12-10 13:48

      And for this we pay TV Licences??? I Do. Who Is the idiot now???

  • mzamo.k.sokhela - 2012-12-10 09:23

    Last week Criselda Cananda's show (Road to Mangaung) where she was gonna be talking about unfolding events as the ANC's conference is approaching was cancelled on the last minute "because ANC was not represented". Yesterday Vuyo Mvoko, SABC 1, had was analysing (with Steven Fridman and other political analyst) the provinces nomonation results (Zuma vs Motlante) and expected outcomes as we going to Mangaung, no one represented ANC. Why was that one not cancelled? Don't tell us there is no political inteference here!!

      matthew.patrick.925 - 2012-12-10 09:36

      So now only the ANC is allowed to speak about the ANC on national radio and TV?

  • neiljvv - 2012-12-10 09:24

    I love the Media - keep up the good work. ANC corrupt to the CORE

  • sisie.indola - 2012-12-10 09:25

    "Animal Farm" - the more things change the more they stay the same.

  • burningdogz - 2012-12-10 09:25

    The SABC said they receive no complaints? Oh okay,then I guess it is all lies.... In other news, a man who wa arrested for abusing his now bleeding and hospitilized children denied all allegations stating th at they had never complained to him...

  • skat.peete - 2012-12-10 09:26

    The fish and chips ad tried to give Zooma coverage but they chose to cancel it, now they are complaining :)

      nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-10 11:06

      Good one Pete...

      marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-12-10 14:07

      Had a good laugh at your comment Pete! Thanks !!!!!!

  • zip.reeper - 2012-12-10 09:29

    surely these anonymous 'reporters' must know who they are working for? a stalinesque cabal of criminals and licence fee robbers.

  • nkosi.tsheda - 2012-12-10 09:38

    The SABC is partly owned by the state. They have to strike that balance of free n fair reporting and make sure d public is well informed and the govt is satisfied wit them. The can't afford 2 neglect any. They can't bhv lyk independant broadcaster wen they not

      steve.gibson.146612 - 2012-12-10 10:27

      Otherwise they will not get their next financial "bailout"

      Vaughan - 2012-12-10 10:48

      @nkosi, I assume you are trying to be funny. SABC and well informed in the same breath. Now that is funny...

      amico.amico.5 - 2012-12-10 12:08

      You are 100% right. That's what happens in almost all state owned enterprises. We as the public end up being compromised in most cases.

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-12-13 09:40

      We wish!!!

  • Stefan Erasmus - 2012-12-10 09:41

    Stop paying TV licences! Stop paying your tax....then we will see!

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-12-10 13:50

      Remember to not buy an e tag otherwise they also will have you by the short and curlys too

  • brionyl.french - 2012-12-10 09:53

    SABC needs to die

  • Jeremy - 2012-12-10 10:02

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Back in the 80's when I first started working at SABC TV News, it was exactly the same. We had regular visits and phone calls from government ministers, who often gave direct orders to the then head of TV News. After PW had his stroke in '89 and moves began to unban the ANC, we had a window period during which there was very little political interference...and in that time SABC TV News became a truly professional news organisation. That lasted until the late 90's - when the ANC realised the power it could wield over the state broadcaster. As with the government as a whole, it's been downhill more or less ever since....

  • chiepner - 2012-12-10 10:24

    Now I ask you. Why should I be forced to pay my TV Licence if there is clear indication of maladministration, corruption and political interference within this company. Why must I be forced to contribute to help this current administration to carry on with all these activities if I as a consumer do not condone any of it? Is paying your licence "the right thing to do" or is it just helping this apartheid style regime to strengthen its grip on a important part of the public domain?

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-12-10 13:51

      Lousy service you should be able to pay the suplier of your own choice...

  • samantha.ungerer.1 - 2012-12-10 10:33

    reality hits hard i wonder who at the SABC gets paid to keep their mouths shut, i wonder how much gets swept under the rug to keep South-Africans in the dark.

      Warren Mudge - 2012-12-10 13:32

      The cANCer insert illiterate, qualification lying stooges and puppets in high positions at Awkward Park, knowing that only a phone call will get them all jumpy and willing to do the callers bidding. It is unfortunate, nay tragic, that the ignorant poverty stricken masses only have access to the SABC channels, the manipulated press and are thus very easily brainwashed en mass. They all believe their stealing corrupt leaders are angels because they are led to believe this and know no better. It must be so frustrating for them in power to know that the free media are ready to pounce at any opportune moment and how they must wish to gag them. We are watching you, all of you corrupt greed infested ANC elite.

  • nelson.casquilho - 2012-12-10 10:39

    they have become the national party

  • mmoledis - 2012-12-10 10:46

    SABC is right I support it, media should not report bad things about our state president irrespective of which party he or she comes from, those people are representing us as a state and the citizens so potraying him or her in a bad picture is hurting this countries image.

      nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-10 11:01

      So you are saying we should only hear the good things about Zooomie....Eish dude...

      Jeremy - 2012-12-10 11:06

      Mmoledis.....if our state president does bad or stupid things, the media has every right to find out and report on them. That's what the media is there for - to keep us informed. If Zuma does a good job that will get refelcted too. Don't shoot the messenger...shoot the idiots in government who are screwing this country!

      nkosi.tsheda - 2012-12-10 11:32

      Well said

      Pieter van Staden - 2012-12-10 12:07

      obviously brainwashed.......

      Warren Mudge - 2012-12-10 12:42

      Did you read the Mail and Guardian, this weeks edition? The ignorance and stupidity of the voting masses leaves me dumb struck. That they believe and desire that their so called leaders must be left alone to pillage, connive, deceive etc. and that only the few positives be reported is mind boggling. How is it possible that a nation can believe that it is all right to be in power only for the purpose of self enrichment??????????? ....................... I am lost for words, how do we change this mindset?

      hugo.mcdonald.7 - 2012-12-10 13:52

      I just knew there would be at least one saying nonsense like this...

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-12-13 09:43


  • Eterni80 - 2012-12-10 10:47

    wow, imagine that, the cANCer interfering with the national broadcaster... SA is fast becoming a joke courtesy of the ruling party and its blatant disregard for the laws of the land why should we obey the rules when they obviously don't give a flying fart about them. SA is dying under the cANCer

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-12-10 11:04

    that is why many people esp. professionals do not watch sabc tv news.Those journalists are forced to report on what the ruling party see it as 'news' .

  • nkosi.tsheda - 2012-12-10 11:06

    We dnt get to hear CNNs BBCs of this world attacking and undermining their govts lyk most of u guys wld want d SABC to do to d ANC. Its only in SA

      Jeremy - 2012-12-10 11:34

      Don't be an idiot. The BBC, CNN and Sky all attack their respective governments when they do something stupid. It's just that our government is stupid a lot of the time - so it gets a lot of bad PR!

      Warren Mudge - 2012-12-10 12:30

      you presume wrong and misinformed, just like your other ignorant ANC voters. Those stations which are independent CNN and Sky even the BBC to a point are sometimes very critical of their governments, you see it is called FREE SPEECH which is enshrined in their constitutions and unlike the cANCer government here this freedom is respected by the US and Britain. I suggest you watch a little of how and what they report on before you place your ignorant comment you ANC lackey.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-12-10 14:39

      Nkosi.tsheda, you have never seen a BBC broadcast then. Those journalists are not for sale and neither is the BBC.

  • craig.thom.376 - 2012-12-10 11:26

    essential part of controlling a population;is to control the media,I doubt that all forms of media will be able to be controlled,it's a good thing that.

  • Ohminus.SpaceThys - 2012-12-10 11:36

    If you don't know by now that all media is controlled and manipulated, you need to start smelling the coffee! ;)

  • sminx.r.mandla - 2012-12-10 11:47

    Yaaaaaawn, tell us something we don't know!!

  • dave.elmore.5 - 2012-12-10 12:35

    News24 Editors....dont you think it a little ironic that you are censoring comments on a letter about censoring? There was absolutely noting wrong with the first posting to this story

  • Mbuso Siera - 2012-12-10 14:19

    its not political interference....but calling things into order....the SABC like any other media houses r out of order.....the ANC has a lot to fix.....on these independent media house also...

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-12-10 14:23

    Another denial from the SABC. Never mind, we all know they are liars anyway.

  • theuns.kruger - 2012-12-12 15:02

    Denial is not a river in Africa...

  • patsy.smith.125 - 2012-12-13 09:37

    This is typical of a dictatorship - first, control the broadcasting companies...... Is THIS what our democracy has become?

  • pages:
  • 1