Bloomberg (DStv 411 / StarSat 264) is involved in an ugly fight with its own journalist Sam Mkokeli who is embroiled in a disciplinary case that has turned nasty and is currently being heard at the CCMA, with Sam Mkokeli who has slammed Bloomberg for its "lily-white leadership structure and culture in Africa".
Besides working for Bloomberg, Sam Mkokeli is also the chairperson of the media freedom sub-committee at the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF).
The nasty relationship breakdown between Bloomberg and Sam Mkokeli began in 2018 when Bloomberg started a disciplinary case against the journalist, claiming that he had allegedly breached Bloomberg's policy for social media posts.
Sam Mkokeli is represented by Clifford Levin, who attended a CCMA arbitration on Thursday in Johannesburg with Gabrielle Phillips as Bloomberg's human resources partner repping the business news outlet.
On 13 December 2018 Sam Mkokeli allegedly breached Bloomberg's social media post policy when he tweeted the words "Here's the walk" with a photo of Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams who was eventually announced as South Africa's 11th minister of communications in 11 years.
Bloomberg gave Sam Mkokeli a disciplinary warning because Bloomberg alleges that the journalist broke the news about Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams' appointment on Twitter where consumers get it for free and before Bloomberg clients who pay for such news.
"The fact is that our Bloomberg clients didn't have access to this information as quickly as it could have been," according to Gabrielle Phillips.
Sam Mkokeli got another Bloomberg disciplinary note a day after the first after he posted a comment on 10 December 2018 with an article from Eyewitness News (EWN) on Facebook with the headline "ANC's Pule Mabe accused of sexual harassment by his PA".
Sam Mkokeli added the comment "Thixo ka Fransman!" which in English is ""God of Fransman" and refers to the ANC member Marius Fransman who was embroiled in sexual assault charges from the National Prosecuting Authority that were later withdrawn.
Bloomberg accused SamMkokeli of expressing a "subjective opinion", something that isn't allowed under Bloomberg's social media post policy.
Sam Mkokeli on social media slammed Bloomberg this week asking Bloomberg publicly "How come you have a lily-white leadership structure and culture in Africa?"
On Wednesday Sam Mkokeli also alleges that Bloomberg decided to "created all manner of charges against me, disciplinary hearing after disciplinary hearing. I am surprised they never charged me for the shape of my nose or the length of my hair. That's Bloomberg for you.".
It's a simple crime. How come you have a lily white leadership structure and culture in Africa? @business got fired for that.— Sam Mkokeli (@msmkokeli) September 25, 2019
They then created all manner of charges against me, DC after DC. I am surprised they never charged me for the shape of my noise or the length of my hair. That's @Bloomberg for you— Sam Mkokeli (@msmkokeli) September 25, 2019