Com­po­si­tion of board is cause of the rot at SABC

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

THE NAIVETÉ of the writer of a let­ter (“Tune into SABC hear­ing”, Weekend Ar­gus, De­cem­ber 7) is a lit­tle scary and avoids one over­rid­ing fact – that the SABC board is made up of ANC-se­lected in­di­vid­u­als.

There are no ap­point­ments from any other party to of­fer bal­ance. Why?

Re­mem­ber the Na­tional Party Broeder­bond?

Does the writer hon­estly be­lieve that the sub­mis­sions made by the pub­lic are go­ing to over­ride the board if they are in any way detri­men­tal to the rul­ing party?

Let’s be clear that the SABC board is run for the ANC by the ANC with chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng as the fi­nal ar­biter.

Why else would this gen­tle­man have been al­lowed to man­age the SABC with no qual­i­fi­ca­tions, no ex­pe­ri­ence and no ma­tric and earn in ex­cess of R200 000 a month?

There are count­less ex­am­ples of Mot­soe­neng in­ter­fer­ing with the pro­gramme con­tent re­sult­ing in the res­ig­na­tion of world-class pre­sen­ter Siki Mgabadeli, a young pro­ducer of Khaya FM re­duced to tears when he sum­mar­ily can­celled her show and the can­cel­la­tion of the Big De­bate.

I agree that the pre­sen­ters and producers are top class and be­lieve that all are pro­fes­sion­als and de­test what is hap­pen­ing at our beloved SABC.

Sadly, al­though they try their best to be neu­tral and al­low all opin­ions through, they are be­ing watched more and more un­til, like so many other pre­sen­ters, they even­tu­ally leave.

I ap­pear to have been blocked from most of the SAFM switch­boards so if you phone in and ask tough ques­tions that the ANC won’t like, you are po­litely told to SMS the pre­sen­ter.

We are back in the apartheid days when the rest of the world could see and hear what was hap­pen­ing in South Africa long be­fore the SABC lis­tener/viewer, and “neg­a­tive” news was sani­tised.

When our pres­i­dent was booed by the crowd at FNB Sta­dium, those watch­ing the SABC’s cen­sored ver­sion would hardly have known any­thing was wrong while the free world and pri­vate chan­nels re­vealed the real sit­u­a­tion. There used to be a sign on the stu­dio wall in one of the SAFM stu­dios that said “ev­ery opin­ion is pre­cious”, a sign which I wa­ger is long gone as the board will en­sure that the only opin­ion that counts is that of the pres­i­dent.

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