‘I’m being hounded out’: Phathiswa Magopeni lodges complaint against SABC CEO, board chair

‘I’m being hounded out’: Phathiswa Magopeni lodges complaint against SABC CEO, board chair

2021-11-30 05:27:00 PM

‘I’m being hounded out’: Phathiswa Magopeni lodges complaint against SABC CEO, board chair

SABC editor-in-chief and head of news Phathiswa Magopeni has lodged a formal complaint against the public broadcaster's CEO Madoda Mxakwe for several issues, including alleged editorial interference, abuse of power and attempts to remove her from her position.

Kgothatso MadisaJournalistSABC editor-in-chief and head of news Phathiswa Magopeni is fighting for her job as she faces charges. File photo.Image:MOELETSI MABESABC editor-in-chief and head of news Phathiswa Magopeni has lodged a formal complaint against the public broadcaster’s CEO Madoda Mxakwe for several issues, including alleged editorial interference, abuse of power and attempts to remove her from her position.

Her complaint comes days after TimesLIVE reported Magopeni was being charged with negligence and bringing the SABC into disreputeafter investigative news programme Special Assignment aired an episode the SABC had been interdicted from broadcasting. 

Magopeni accused Mxakwe, in her complaint to the SABC board, of using theSpecial Assignmentissue to “destroy” and “hound” her out of the public broadcaster.She has also laid a similar complaint against SABCboard chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini.The drama unfolds weeks before Magopeni is expected to appear before an SABC disciplinary committee in December. headtopics.com

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In the nine-page letter TimesLIVE has seen, Magopeni painted a grim picture of how the public broadcaster’s CEO and board chairperson tried to force her to approve an unscheduled interview with ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa in the run-up to the recent local government elections.

Her refusal, she claimed, and the preceding complaints from the ANC about how the SABC covered its election campaign could be the reason there is an attempt to place the blame on her for theSpecial Assignmenterror and ultimately remove her from the SABC.

She detailed how Mxakwe specifically flouted administrative processes to ensure she took the fall for the erroneous airing of theSpecial Assignmentepisode.She said Mxakwe’s decision to copy human resources group executive Dr Mojaki Mosia when he asked her to explain how the episode went on air was a further indication of this, as her explanation was meant to assist the legal division since the matter related to contravening a court order.

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“His doggedness to use theSpecial Assignmentincident against me was blatant right from the start, even before I could submit the report he had asked for,” Magopeni said in the letter dated November 29.She relayed instances where Mxakwe’s intentions became clear, including, she claimed, when Mxakwe refused to include, in a meeting a day after the episode was aired on October 26, executives who would have been responsible for overseeing what goes on air. headtopics.com

There are three management levels below me that would have dealt with this 'Special Assignment' matter, but in Mr Mxakwe’s haste to get rid of me he overlooked that and chose to flout administrative governanceSABC editor-in-chief and head of news Phathiswa Magopeni

“Mr Mxakwe unequivocally rejected my suggestion expressing that there was no need for him as he had nothing to do with the issue, and that I was the one responsible. This was the clearest indication of the outcome being predetermined. I was the intended target and there was no other person to be considered,” she said.

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She said it is clear Mxakwe was steadfast on “hounding” her out of the SABC “for reasons only known to him”.“There are three management levels below me that would have dealt with thisSpecial Assignmentmatter, but in Mr Mxakwe’s haste to get rid of me he overlooked that and chose to flout administrative governance,” she said.

Magopeni accused Mxakwe and Makhathini of editorial interference for allegedly exerting pressure on her for an interview with Ramaphosa during his campaign trail in Limpopo.She claimed the duo called her on October 24 to tell her her about a request from ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe for a radio interview with Ramaphosa. headtopics.com

According to Magopeni, the initial call came from Mxakwe, to which she objected, as SABC editorial processes did not allow for special coverage of the ANC president because this would have “made a mockery” of the public broadcaster.“The calls I received from Mr Mxakwe went beyond seeking clarity about why the interview could not be done. He was putting undue pressure on me to co-ordinate that the interview be done, despite this falling outside the news division’s editorial processes and being outright interference. I refused.

“He even mentioned having spoken to the minister about the issue, which I found bizarre because this was an editorial matter. I kept explaining why this was wrong and in violation of the prescribed editorial processes.”According to her, Makhathini joined the furore through a phone call in which he asked what she had done about the Ramaphosa interview since the call made by Mxakwe.

“I said I had done nothing because it would have been an editorial transgression. He went as far as saying the ANC president was in his final leg of the campaign and would be making his way to the SABC afterwards.“I asked him what he was coming to do as news had no scheduled interview with him, and there was no preparation for such by editors.

“He asked me if the president would have to leave the SABC without doing the interview. I emphatically said from a news point of view, yes, because no editor had knowledge of that interview and it would be a breach of editorial transparency in our newsroom processes,” she said.

I feel extremely unsafe and I fear for my life. I cannot keep quiet.Phathiswa MagopeniMagopeni claimed another incident of editorial overreach on the part of Makhathini was in May  when he called her about SABC coverage of the succession battle in the Zulu royal family.

She said he told her there was a court battle taking place and the other side of the family contesting the throne had to be heard.She said Makhathini went as far as sending her a white envelope containing the court papers through a security guard, who gave them to her in the parking area.

Magopeni detailed other instances that pointed to alleged abuse of power by the CEO and board chairperson.She claimed the SABC newsroom has been gagged on reporting about her charges and impending disciplinary hearing. She said the public broadcaster has made it impossible to report on the matter as questions sent to the spokesperson are met with a “no comment” while information is shared with other media publications. 

Magopeni said she is also being silenced from speaking out about her charges.“It is my considered view there is a concerted effort by Mr Mxakwe to push me out of the SABC with the assistance of group HR using theSpecial Assignmentmatter.”“With the public political statements being made about me having affected the electoral prospects of the ruling party, I feel extremely unsafe and I fear for my life. I cannot keep quiet.”

SABC comment will be added to this article when it is received.

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I support her hounding, she is a factional SANEF member, any SANEF mule should not be allowed near SABC☹️..

'I'm being hounded out': Phathiswa Magopeni lodges complaint against SABC CEO, board chairSABC editor-in-chief and head of news Phathiswa Magopeni has lodged a formal complaint against the public broadcaster's CEO Madoda Mxakwe for several issues, including alleged editorial interference, abuse of power and attempts to remove her from her position. For all those who are new to this working from home Bitcoin trading options Here's a little tip: Get a trusted Bitcoin expert and stick to her Alexander_Jenis Invest and play at similar times each day. Because : In times of chaos, your investment is your anchor to success

Sanef wants SABC to make disciplinary hearing of head of news publicThe SA National Editors' Forum wants the disciplinary hearing of SABC editor-in-chief and head of news Phathiswa Magopeni to be held in public.

Sanef wants SABC to make disciplinary hearing of head of news publicThe SA National Editors' Forum wants the disciplinary hearing of SABC editor-in-chief and head of news Phathiswa Magopeni to be held in public.

Sanef wants SABC to make disciplinary hearing of head of news publicThe SA National Editors' Forum wants the disciplinary hearing of SABC editor-in-chief and head of news Phathiswa Magopeni to be held in public. kgmadisa Is that permissible by law? Eintlik SANEF ke union ya the elite?🤔

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