Sunday, June 22, 2014

BREAKING. Venda king furious over bare-breasted woman offered as wife to SABC's Hlaudi Motsoeneng; demands answers from SABC.

The king of the Venda people in South Africa, Khosikhulu Mphephu Ramabulana is furious over the event just over a week ago where the SABC's famously matricless acting chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng was presented with a cow, a calf, and a bare-breasted woman "given" to him as a wife.

SABC executives visited Thohoyandou in Limpopo in an official public meet-and-greet to talk about the SABC and the public broadcaster's role, but the organisers and Hlaudi Motsoeneng were incapable of managing the optics properly and professionally - allowing a parading of women, reportedly including the "gifting" of one, as well as a cow and a calf.

Several South African women rights' organisations remained silent, including government ministries, and the SABC has not issued an official press statement immediately after the controversy started swirling, or in the more than a week since.

The South African public broadcaster is once again embroiled in a scandalous story about itself, which ran away with it leaving the SABC looking bad, and in which the corporation made no attempt to do damage control, employ crisis communication of any kind, or to make a pro-active, forthright declaration or statement quickly.

In fact, the SABC visited the Venda community to talk about local content and more content in Venda but instead of affirming and reaffirming and channeling an on-point message which would have been about the corporation, the SABC issued no press release or statement that it's visiting the Venda community and what it is doing for that community - and allowed the ever-constant drama surrounding the famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng to once again derail an event.

In a statement, strangely also made very belatedly, the Venda king now says that he "together with all traditional leaders and Venda people completely distance ourselves from the event and any other activity related thereto".

The statement comes just before a press conference on Sunday afternoon from Venda people at the SABC's Auckland Park headquarters to basically trash the original story published by The Sowetan newspaper.

King Khosikhulu Mphephu Ramabulana says in the statement he has summoned everybody who organised and participated in the event to the Venda people's royal headquarters.

He says he will also be talking directly "with the SABC on their role in the event".

SABC News which notoriously, constantly skews news coverage regarding its own executives and the corporation's management troubles will very likely not report the unhappiness of the Venda king and people with the SABC and Hlaudi Motsoeneng's involvement in the event, nor ask an SABC executive why the broadcaster allowed the gifting event to happen, or why the SABC didn't react swiftly and decisively.

An SABC News report, if there is any, will very likely take the angle of how Venda women are angry at the media in general for giving an "inaccurate" portrayal of them in the media in the story - nothing about the SABC's involvement in the mess.