Wednesday, August 26, 2015

National Intelligence Agency (NIA) is spying on SABC staff, says SABC trade union Bemawu, demands that SABC CEO Frans Matlala explains why.

South Africa's National Intelligence Angecy (NIA) is spying on SABC staff and the public broadcaster says the SABC trade union Bemawu who wrote to the SABC's new CEO Frans Matlala asking what is going on.

Hannes du Buisson, president of the Broadcast Electronic Media and Allied Workers' Union (Bemawu) wrote to Frans Matlala on Tuesday saying the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has "instructed SABC employees to leave their offices while operators spent between 2 and 3 hours per office for a purpose unknown to the employees".

This allegedly happened and is happening at the SABC's offices in Durban.

"We have furthermore been informed that employees were instructed to keep quiet about this and were threatened with action should they tell anybody."

Fearful SABC staff are "not sure whether secret surveillance equipment was installed in their offices, and if so, why is this happening and necessary?"

"We do not see any reason for the National Intelligence Agency to lock employees out of their offices, remaining inside alone."

"The SABC is a workplace, not a law enforcement agency or some secret organisation where NIA agents have free rein," Hannes dui Buisson wrote to Frans Matlala.

"For a state agency to act in this manner at a public broadcaster is of serious concern… such action seriously compromises what is left of the SABC's integrity."

Bemawu demands that Frans Matlala as the SABC CEO explains what is going on at the public broadcaster.

"We request your urgent intervention, assistance and explanation. We request that this secret operation be stopped and the purpose and intent be communicated to staff."

"We also want an explanation as to why the National Intelligence Agency finds it necessary to put employees out of their offices, invading their privacy and work space, where they spent the majority of the day and a substantial time of their lives."