Reports have it that SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng ordered staff to question anyone in their election coverage except President Zuma.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that eight journalists filed an application seeking direct access to the Constitutional Court in this regard.
The journalists want ConCourt to declare SABC’s editorial polices as ‘unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid.”
As culled from an affidavit, SABC convened an election workshop last month to discuss the broadcasting corporation’s election strategy.
At the event, Motsoeneng ordered the journalists not to question Mr President in their coverage. According to him, the President ought to be respected and not critically questioned.
Thou Shall Not Question Zuma
“I’m in charge, you must adhere to my instruction. President Zuma is the president of the country. I do not regard him as ANC. You cannot treat him the same. We will give him more time. And, you can question everyone except our president. We need to respect him. Especially you, SABC. I expect you all to align with my instruction.
Do not focus on negative stories… Reporters at the SABC do not know the world; when they report, they mislead listeners. I’m going to talk to the press club, to all editors. I’m going to tell them they cannot try to influence SABC. I’m going to tell them they cannot tell us what to do.
Look at your editorial policy. We have removed news and replaced with content. If you as SABC mess up the organisation, you mess up your life. I am in charge. News is now part of Operations. We change the world. We must have news with content,” Motsoeneng allegedly charged.
The eight journalists are Thandeka Gqubule, Krivani Pillay, Foeta Krige, Busisiwe Ntuli, Jacques Steenkamp, Lukhanyo Calata, Vuyo Mvoko, and Suna Venter.
They also want to get the suspension of Gqubule, Krige and Venter reversed.