Monday, August 5, 2019
SOS Coalition says Commission of Inquiry's report into SABC editorial meddling doesn't go far enough while former bosses 'Jimmy Matthews and Hlaudi Motsoeneng continue to live as symbols of South Africa's culture of impunity'.
After the release of the Commission of Inquiry's report into SABC editorial meddling on Monday, the SOS Coalition says that it doesn't go far enough - especially not in the public's calls for full accountability - while former abusive SABC bosses "Jimmy Matthews and Hlaudi Motsoeneng continue to live as symbols of South Africa's persistent culture of impunity".
On Monday the Commission of Inquiry into editorial interference at South Africa's public broadcaster reported that it found that the "spectre of the ANC hovered over the newsroom", that ministerial interference into the newsroom of the SABC took place, and found 'bullying and trauma" and a "work environment crippled with fear, anxiety, resentment and tensions".
"The SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition welcomes the release of the long-awaited report of the Commission of Inquiry into interference in the decision-making in the newsroom of the SABC" the SOS Coalition said on Monday in a statement.
"The task before the Commission was a mammoth one and indeed, while the 66-page report offers a glimpse into some of the most egregious abuses of power against journalists and the South African public, the flagrant violations of our laws and complete disregard of our constitutional values by the erstwhile leaders of the SABC, it does not fully satisfy the public’s calls for full accountability."
"Questions remain around the roles of the previous leadership who were key to the destruction of the integrity of the SABC. Key people mentioned in the commission, like Jimmy Matthews and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, have refused to participate in the inquiry and continue to live as symbols of South Africa’s persistent culture of impunity," the SOS Coalition said.
"While the Coalition acknowledges that the inquiry could not have reasonably been expected to unpack the true depth and extent of editorial interference at the SABC from 2012 to date, we do hope that the SABC will be emboldened to pull on the threads that have been laid bare and pursue justice through disciplinary, legal or criminal processes for the many journalists and the South African public who have been affected by the degradation of values at our public broadcaster."
"Going forward, we would like to see the recommendations be given thorough consideration and we hope that this report will provide a stepping stone for more in-depth investigations that will help us understand the root of this malfeasance and how it was allowed to persist for so long," the SOS Coalition said.
"Investigations into interference in the newsroom, although welcomed, is yet still only one pillar within the SABC. There has been a devastating effect on the entire corporation and we urge those investigations continue and an accountable process follows."
"We call on the leaders of the SABC to begin the work of ensuring accountability and rebuilding
our public broadcaster into an institution that the South African public can trust once again," the public pressure group said.
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