As South Africa’s Broadcasting body is still reeling from resignation of staff and public criticisms, the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) has threatened to take legal action against the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) if it refuses to “desist from implementing its statements and policy” with regards to the coverage of protests.
In a letter from the Webber Wentzel law firm, the HSF gave the broadcaster until 4pm Thursday to present to it a “written undertaking that it desists from these actions‚ failing which‚ the HSF may be forced to exercise its rights in law without delay”.
“We have today written to the board and the chief operating officer stating our view that a list of eight actions by the SABC would be unconstitutional and unlawful‚” a statement from the HSF said.
Two communications within the SABC caught its attention‚ the HSF said. The first “is the memorandum from three senior employees to COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ which contains the following passage:
“…we feel aggrieved that the image of our institution and our journalistic integrity continues to be compromised by unconstitutional pronouncements that erode the credibility of the SABC and the journalistic integrity of all of us who work for it”.
The three employees have been placed under suspension by the SABC.
See Also: Shocking! SABC’s Jimi Matthews Resigns
The second was the sudden appearance of the resignation letter of acting group chief executive officer Jimi Matthews stating:
“…the prevailing corrosive atmosphere has impacted negatively on my moral judgement and has made me complicit in many decisions which I am not proud of…What is happening at the SABC is wrong and I can no longer be part of it”.
The HSF said the integrity of the SABC is essential at all times‚ especially as the country prepares for elections.