Phathiswa Magopeni will start at the SABC on 1 March. eNCA's Mapi Mhlangu, managing director and editor-in-chief at eNCA was also approached by the SABC for the same position at the public broadcaster.
Phathiswa Magopeni replaces the disgraced Simon Tebele who was a belligerent Hlaudi Motsoeneng sycophant and who was found liable for the legal costs for the wrongful firing of the so-called "SABC 8" journalists together with the controversial and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Phathiswa Magopeni has an impressive CV and boasts an MBA, a honours degree, an MPhil in education, an Integrated Marketing Communications diploma and is currently working on a doctoral proposal for a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GBIS).
Phathiswa Magopeni was previously at the SABC as a desk producer.
Phathiswa Magopeni's career in journalism began in 1998 when she joined the SABC in in Cape Town. She then jumped to e.tv's eNews in 2001 and returned to the SABC in 2005. In 2008 she rejoined eNews when the eNews Channel was launched (now called eNCA) in 2008.
She worked as a senior desk producer, output editor, eNews Prime Time editor and then became head of terrestrial news services. In 2013 she conceptualised and coordinated the launch of e.tv's Zulu news offering that has since been moved to Platco Digital's OpenView HD free-to-air satellite service..
“South Africa’s public broadcaster has always played an indispensable role in the democratic order of the country, but it has also always had a special place in my own life," says Phathiswa Magopeni in a statement about her appointment.
"My first job in broadcasting was with the SABC. I learnt a lot there, and have learnt much in the industry since. Hopefully all that can be of use because this is for me a welcome return to where it all began. I am humbled by the trust shown in me, and look forward to being part of an institution which is crucial to providing independent news and information to South Africa’s citizenry".
The SABC in a statement says "This appointment is in line with the corporation’s continuous commitment to ensure that all group executive vacancies are filled in order to achieve sound governance in all the SABC’s business units. It also affirms our commitment to attract and retain the best skills to address the evolving broadcasting environment enabled by technology."
Chris Maroleng, the SABC's chief operations officer (COO), says "As a public broadcaster we recognise the pivotal role played by news and information in human, social and economic growth and development".
"We therefore saw it fit to appoint Phathiswa Magopeni as she has the expertise in the broadcasting industry and we believe that her appointment will further strengthen our position as a credible and reliable news and information provider in the country as we approach the national general elections in 2019."
"We welcome Phathiswa Magopeni back to the SABC where she first cut her teeth in the broadcasting arena. We urge all staff members to welcome and support her in her role as the new group executive for news and current affairs division."