01 June 2010
The COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS UNION (CWU) demands a public explanation on the sudden resignation of SABC Radio Head of News, Mapule Mbhalati, after she was allegedly suspended for airing a statement by the Board for nullifying the invalid appointment of Phil Molefe to head SABC News.
The resignation of Mabhalati is a continuation of the S’nukification of the SABC News Division by Acting Head of News Phil Molefe. This abrupt resignation clearly demonstrates that Molefe is a bully and abuses his position of authority to purge and victimize workers. We call on the SABC to come clean and explain in details the resignation and failure by the SABC it heed our call it will reinforce our suspicions that the SABC News once more is being bullied for certain sectarian agenda’s similar to the era of S’nuki Zikalala.
We also demand that the Board of the SABC to investigate the authenticity of a text message [sms] circulated by Molefe instructing SABC News senior personnel to censor stories opposed to his appointment, particularly from COSATU and its affiliates. We make this demand to the Board because the GCEO, Solly Mokoetle, is a close political ally of Molefe and shares his anti-working class views and his attempts to control through censorship of his own staff. Coverage by SABC of working class activities have declined since they seized control of SABC News.
The Board is appointed by the President on the recommendations of our democratic parliament. Mokoetle was appointed by the interim Board in the dying moments of its term last year. To demonstrate its commitment to democracy and to professional journalism, the Board must act immediately and decisively.
We reiterate our call on the SABC Board to appoint a permanent Head of News through a transparent and open process. This should be done consistent with the SABC’s mandate of being a truly independent public broadcaster.
National Spokesperson – 082 759 0900