JOHANNESBURG — Because the UK’s The Guardian newspaper put it lately, Ramaphoria has was Ramageddon. Regardless of a quick uptick in constructive sentiment firstly of the yr, there’s a robust sense of deja vu now setting in. It begins with the recession but in addition loops its method spherical to the SABC, which is clearly going for use by Ramaphosa as his personal private mouthpiece if the current appointments there are something to go by. – Gareth van Zyl
By Ed Herbst*
“I’m not running a political branch at SABC. I don’t account to politicians, government agencies, government; we are not the mouthpiece of the government and we have to make that clear.” – SABC group government for information and present affairs, Phathiswa Magopeni 24/eight/2018
- “Where are the DA Headquarters? I am in Cape Town and I want to march there and demand the reintegration of Cape Town into South Africa.”
- “Maimane to stand for DA’s parliamentary leader”. One other darkie Zille challenge. Just the place society will see a pretend de racialised DA”
- “The media dubs criticism of Thuli Madonsela as an “attack on the Public Protector” – fascinating certainly. I feel she is tender on the DA”
Twitter posts by Dumisani Hlophe, the ANC’s new appointee as Political Editor: Information and Present Affairs on the SABC 1/9/2018
Veteran journalist Ed Herbst
Even by the ANC’s non-existent requirements of moral probity and its telling idea of due diligence, this overtly corrupt appointment took one’s breath away as a result of it was so astonishingly cynical.
Dumisani Hlophe has no profession background in information gathering and dissemination however what recommends him to Luthuli Home and the Union buildings because the state broadcaster’s Political Editor: Information and Present Affairs, is his repeatedly expressed antipathy in the direction of the Democratic Alliance.
It casts new mild on the sincerity of Cyril Ramaphosa when he made the next assertion two years earlier than the ANC gained management of the nation and malevolently took the SABC by the throat – because the dying of Suna Venter so tragically illustrated.
‘The ANC is committed to public broadcasting which is independent of the government of the day, and which owes its loyalty not to any party, but to the population as a whole. In other words, we propose a broadcast service committed to providing full and accurate information to all South Africans, and one which is protected from interference by any special interests – be they political, economic or cultural.’
Phathiswa Magopeni was recruited by the SABC earlier this yr as group government for information and present affairs.
A fortnight in the past she said that the SABC was not a authorities mouthpiece – however then Luthuli Home brutally asserted its hegemony and appointed Dumisani Hlophe to go up the present political information staff of Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s enforcers.
As Phumzile van Damme, the DA Shadow Minister of Communications, identified in a media launch:
- Dumisani Hlophe has no background as a reporter
- His almost-manic hatred of the Democratic Alliance is a matter of repeated document
- His hatred of the ‘liberal mainstream media’ is a matter of repeated report
There’s an election arising, so Luthuli Home clearly felt that it wanted to base its present template on classes derived from its previous successes in turning a public broadcaster – which it was in the period of Zwelakhe Sisulu, Barney Mthombothi and Allister Sparks – right into a state broadcaster as a result of it reaches a radio and tv viewers of greater than 30 million individuals.
Beneath Cyril Ramaphosa good progress has been made in the direction of restoring the SABC’s monetary viability and, initially at the very least, in decreasing political interference via some credible appointments.
Moreover, the clean-up has began with the dismissal of Motsoeneng imbongi Sully Motsweni who’s dealing with fraud costs. As well as, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee of Communications has taken a unanimous determination to refer the infamous Religion Muthambi December 2015 Broadcasting Modification Invoice again to the Communications Ministry. This invoice would have allowed Muthambi the ultimate say in who was appointed to the SABC board.
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa got here to energy on an anti-corruption ticket and a dedication to tug the nation again from the brink of ANC-created chapter and the looming potential of an IMF bailout. Sadly, after 24 years of Superb Nationwide Democratic Revolution looting of the general public purse by the ANC’s illegally-deployed cadres, there isn’t a cash to be discovered. That’s the reason Treasury was unable to grant the SABC the R3 billion bailout it wants, however has allowed it to borrow R1.2 billion to compensate for its R622 million loss in the 2017/2018 monetary yr and since it can’t pay its authorized charges.
Ramaphosa’s final aim, although, is to take care of and improve ANC hegemony and for this, like the earlier Mbeki and Zuma regimes, he wants a compliant state broadcaster.
‘Forced to resign’
Three elements hassle me:
The primary pertains to an article on the Africa Information 24/7 web site in late February which was headlined Steve Motale might have been ‘forced to resign’.
In line with a supply at Unbiased Media who spoke to us on situation of anonymity for worry of dropping his job stated Motale was pressured to give up after Ramaphosa met with proprietor of Unbiased Media Iqbal Survé at Davos in Switzerland for the World Financial Discussion board.
Based on the supply, Ramaphosa informed Survé if he doesn’t hearth Motale, he won’t obtain authorities enterprise.
Our supply defined that what this interprets to is that Ramaphosa doesn’t need to be criticized at any degree by media publications and has taken a tough line towards those that supply an alternate narrative in comparison with the one that’s praising him from different Sunday publications such because the Sunday Occasions and Metropolis Press.
Motale, as editor of the Sunday Unbiased, had incurred Ramaphosa’s wrath by writing a entrance web page pretend information article on three September final yr falsely accusing him of being a blesser.
There was no denial from Ramaphosa or Steve Motale or from Motale’s former employer, Iqbal Survé, of the Africa 24-7 declare of Motale’s resignation underneath Ramaphosa duress. If the allegation is true, it signifies that Ramaphosa has no scruples about leaning on media executives when he feels his pursuits or these of the ANC are threatened – a lot as P W Botha used to do on behalf of the Nationwide Celebration.
My second concern is the willingness of the SABC to collaborate with Ramaphosa in pre-recording his Expropriation With out Compensation assertion which was broadcast late on the night time of 31 August. The SABC punted this as a authorities tackle when, in reality, Ramaphosa was talking because the chief of the ANC, one thing the DA criticised.
Devoid of fact
My third concern is that when the DA requested for an equal alternative and equal broadcast time to current its views on the EWC query, Phathiswa Magopeni refused, thereby, because the DA identified, firmly nailing her colors to the ANC mast and proving her earlier assertion about her political neutrality to be devoid of fact.
In a current noseweek article headlined Hlaudi’s minions nonetheless lurk at SABC, Sue Segar writes:
The issue, say insiders who spoke to Noseweek is that the enforcers are nonetheless in place having suffered no penalties for his or her actions beneath Hlaudi’s rule.
Key enforcers nonetheless in place embrace Sebolelo Dithlakanyana, basic supervisor radio information, Sophie Mokoena, appearing political editor, Nothando Maseko, head of TV present affairs and Nyana Molete head of stories. However there are others too.
“These people were doing Hlaudi’s bidding when he was at the helm. Whatever he said, they would execute. They were in charge of implementing Hlaudi’s decisions. They were the enforcers,” says one staffer.
“They have been the individuals in cost of censoring and distorting the information.
“Although Hlaudi has gone, these exact same individuals proceed to function in their positions and maintain the identical powers. Now they’re passing themselves off as custodians of democracy.
“The SABC has been rebranding itself and talking about a new dawn … but that’s exactly what the ANC is talking about too. How will the public broadcaster be independent enough to hold politicians to account when they are still choosing to be their praise-singers instead of being reporters? This situation does not augur well for this pre-election year. There is no new dawn here.”
The late Suna Venter offered an inventory of enforcers in a supporting assertion through the SABC eight’s testimony earlier than Parliament’s advert hoc committee into the SABC board in January 2017.
(Venter was one of many journalists who got here to be generally known as the heroic SABC eight, who stood up towards Motsoeneng. She was discovered lifeless in her flat in Johannesburg in June final yr, after being recognized with damaged coronary heart syndrome, following extended trauma and stress. She had been regularly harassed for her outspoken place.)
In a supporting assertion to the committee, she said: “These are the people who form part of the network Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng created around him to execute his decisions and agenda, specifically as it pertains to the newsroom.”
Names on her listing included:
- Sebulelo Dithlakanyane (Head of Radio Information and Present Affairs) …. Who “gave editorial directions that forbit evaluation of sure tales or to order that a reward music written for Mr Motsoeneng be performed in SAfm’s (and different) present affairs exhibits.
- Sophie Mokoena (appearing political and overseas editor) … “who is implicated in various instances of editorial interference, especially at television.”
- Nyana Molete (Line Supervisor: TV Information and Nothanda Maseko (head of TV information) … “these are the main enforcers of Mr Motsoeneng’s wishes in news management.”
Segar’s article doesn’t, nevertheless, point out one of many key ‘enforcers’, Vuyani Inexperienced. He has monumental affect as a result of he heads the parliamentary workplace of the SABC – and malevolently so. One of many SABC8, Lukhanyo Calata, talked about him each in his testimony in parliament through the SABC board inquiry in 2016 and in his ebook, My Father Died for This.
All of those individuals will thrive with Dumisani Hlophe as the top of their reporting unit – they might not have requested for anybody extra suited to their aspirations and their proclivities.
The ANC is already demanding that the SABC recognise its voting majority and that it been given commensurate protection forward of the 2019 election and with the appointment of Dumisani Hlophe, the additional protection is assured
As a former SABC political commissar, Snuki Zikalala was cited in Alex Parker’s guide 50 Individuals who stuffed up South Africa. He shall be delighted, I’m positive, that Cyril Ramaphosa, like Thabo Mbeki earlier than him, has determined to cross the baton to somebody of like thoughts and comparable inclination.
On 31 December final yr after the Nasrec election outcomes have been introduced, Tony Leon wrote in his Sunday Occasions column:
One in every of my Fb buddies, a well known Johannesburg Northern Suburbs matron and quintessential DA supporter exulted: “Ramaphosa has won – I am weeping with joy”
Eight months later, Leon wrote a Enterprise Day article citing the late US senator John McCain which was headlined It takes a pacesetter who’s large enough to place nation earlier than social gathering.
With the cynical appointment of the DA-hating Dumisani Hlophe as political editor on the SABC just previous to the 2019 election, Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC has proven but once more that it has put get together earlier than nation.
- Ed Herbst is a retired veteran journalist who writes in his personal capability.
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