Three permanent SABC employees have been suspended for deliberately sabotaging a video of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on femicide and xenophobia last week.
The SABC said in a statement that an investigation into the incident showed “unauthorised changes were effected without any communication to the desk. Consequently, the programme published and played the rehearsal clip from President Ramaphosa’s recorded address to the nation, instead of the final version”.
The “serious production and transmission failure” on 5 September had the nation talking. “The SABC now has strong prima facie evidence indicating that the broadcast of the incorrect clip was a well-considered and co-ordinated act of sabotage to bring the SABC and consequently the President into disrepute.,” the broadcaster said.
It had received material in good time to ensure a clean transmission and employees were warned in advance that they should disregard the rehearsal clip.
“Any employee found to be involved in clandestine activities aimed at undoing the ongoing work to restore the credibility of the public news service, will be dealt with accordingly within the confines of the SABC’s human resources and disciplinary policies,” said SABC News and Current Affairs group executive, Phathiswa Magopeni.
She said the news operation was mindful of the implications of the incident on its credibility and the reputation of the SABC, adding, “We are committed to doing everything possible to improve the quality of our work and elevate the standard of our performance. What happened on Thursday has no place at all in the public news service”.
The public broadcaster’s group chief executive officer, Madoda Mxakwe said the SABC would “not tolerate any acts or omissions that bring the public broadcaster into disrepute, and undermine efforts to eradicate systemic problems of malfeasance and maladministration plaguing the institution”.
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