Ahead of today’s peaceful demonstration scheduled to hold outside the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park, the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane has lamented over the state of affairs in the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
The opposition leader opined that it is crystal clear that the president controls state institutions through the help of his stooges working in these institutions.
“Jacob Zuma has captured state institutions… So what has happened now is that he has deployed people to institutions of government, whether those people are at the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority), whether it’s at SAA (South African Airways) and now we are seeing it at the SABC,” he said.
Making reference to SABC, Maimane told reporters at the launch of his party’s manifesto in Soshanguve, Tshwane that it is clear now that Zuma is using SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng to turn the public broadcaster into a state broadcaster.
The leader further argued that Motsoeneng was enstooled to carry out ANC’s bidding else he ought to have resigned from his position after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report against him.
He also applauded Jimi Matthews for tendering his resignation letter and speaking out against Motsoeneng.
“I want to commend the courage of Jimi Matthews who has spoken out… Therefore I will be taking all the action that we can [to ensure] that Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s project of SABC capture cannot continue.”
Employees of the SABC and the South African public needed a public broadcaster which was transparent and not censored, so that it could hold its government to account,” Maimane said.
On Monday, acting CEO Jimi Matthews resigned, condemning recent changes at the SABC. He disclosed that under SABC current leadership, his values were compromised.
He added in his letter that the “corrosive atmosphere” has impacted negatively on his moral judgement and made him complicit in decisions he “was not proud of”; hence, he can no longer be a part of it.”
SABC COO Hlaudi has been under fire lately for a number of decisions which perceived as “undemocratic” and “authoritarian”. His leadership has also projected an apartheid-like ideas, which many believed were made on the basis of political interests.
Read Also: Shocking! SABC’s Jimi Matthews Resigns
The COO is yet to provide substantial evidence to support his order not to air violent footage across the country.
Last year, the SABC axed three board members, including the late Hope Zinde, who was accused of divulging confidential board information at an ANC workshop.
Last week, Economics Editor Thandeka Gqubule, Executive Editor at Radio Sonder Grense Foeta Krige, and Senior Journalist Suna Venter were indefinitely suspended for voicing their anger over SABC’s decision not to air Right 2 Know (R2K) Campaign’s protest against censorship at the public broadcaster on June 20.
Meanwhile, the DA said it will be demanding for Haludi’s immediate resignation and an end to the undemocratic censorship when it launches a demonstration outside the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park today.