Contrary to a href=”http://www.news24.com/Rapport/Nuus/0,,752-795_2320154,00.html” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.news24.com/Rapport/Nuus/0,,752-795_2320154,00.html”report in the Sunday paper Rapport, the Broadcast, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers’ Union (Bemawu) has denied stating that Matsepe-Casaburri had demanded the reinstatement of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, former Lesedi FM executive for current affairs. The struggle over Motsoeneng’s reinstatement is believed to have at least in part led to the suspension of Snuki Zikalala, the SABC’s group executive of news and current affairs.
Zikalala’s suspension last week by the SABC’s group chief executive, Dali Mpofu, was followed by his own suspension by the SABC board.
Bemawu president Hannes du Buisson told TheMediaOnline the union had no direct source confirming the minister’s possible involvement.
“What we (Bemawu) did say was that certain of our members in the Free State reported to us that they had heard from sources that the minister had been involved (in the Motsoeneng issue). We therefore wrote a letter to the SABC saying the union was concerned about due process if the minister was indeed involved,” says Du Buisson.
The latest reports are another example of numerous claims being thrown about in the media that allude to the fact that Zikalala may have been suspended by Mpofu for failing to reinstate Motsoeneng. According to some href=”http://www.thetimes.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=764281″ target=_blank mce_href=” http://www.thetimes.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=764281″reports, Zikalala showed documents related to the Motsoeneng case to ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa to assure him that the failure to reinstate Motsoeneng was not related to Motsoeneng’s support of ANC president Jacob Zuma.
Neither Matsepe-Casaburri’s spokesperson nor the spokesperson of the Department of Communications was available to comment on the matter on Monday (12 May).
Meanwhile, Snuki Zikalala, suspended SABC group executive of news and current affairs, has said his suspension was “unlawful”.
Zikalala told TheMediaOnline on Monday that the SABC board had instructed him not to comment to the media pending an internal hearing by the board. He said he would make representation during the board hearing opposing his suspension “because it was unlawful”, but said the board had asked him not to comment until “due process had been followed”.
Mpofu appears to be under legal advice not to comment to the media after refusing to comment further on his proposed !_LT_U href=”http://www.news24.com/City_Press/News/0,,186-187_2320164,00.html” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.news24.com/City_Press/News/0,,186-187_2320164,00.html”legal action!_LT_/U against his suspension. Mpofu told TheMediaOnline he would only be in a place to comment on his suspension after the “legal stuff had been sorted out”. He did not know when that would be.