Thursday, March 22, 2018

China merges its 3 state broadcaster propaganda services into one macro unit called Zhongguo Zhisheng, now overseen by Chinese government's Publicity Department.

The Chinese government announced that it's merging its state broadcasting units into one new macro unit called Zhongguo Zhisheng (中国之声) that will be overseen by the Chinese government's Publicity Department to more effectively control the country's propaganda information efforts from China's Communist Party.

China's state-owned propaganda television and radio stations are being fused into one overall broadcasting platform with China Central Television (CCTV), China Radio International (CRI), and China National Radio (CNR) that will form the new Zhongguo Zhisheng.

Zhongguo Zhisheng translates as "Voice of China", although an official English name of Zhongguo Zhisheng has not yet been announced. The former CCTV president Shen Haixiong was appointed to lead the organization.

China Central Television (CCTV), China Radio International (CRI), and China National Radio (CNR) will keep their individual names.

The announcement comes a day after the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) as part of a plan from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Several of the news and documentary channels from CCTV are available and seen in South Africa, as well as through the rest of Africa, on various pay-TV satellite services ranging from MultiChoice's DStv and StarSat, to China's StarTimes in other Southern, East and West African countries.

Besides the various CCTV named channels run by CCTV, CCTV is also responsible for its global 24-hour TV news channel CGTN.

CGTN has 6 different language versions. The English version of CGTN is carried by MultiChoice on DStv channel 409.

The French version of CGTN (CGTN French) is carried by StarTimes Media SA and On Digital Media (ODM) on StarSat and in the rest of Africa, along with some CCTV channels.

FOX Networks Group Africa loses its top boss as Gary Alfonso exits as its Africa general manager to pursue new opportunities.

FOX Africa's business in South Africa and across the rest of Africa is losing its top boss on the continent, with Gary Alfonso who is exiting as general manager for the FOX Networks Group Africa.

Gary Alfonso has been with FNG Africa as it's top executive for a year and 7 months.

The highly respected Gary Alfonso replaced two predecessors as the top FOX executive on the continent who lasted only 5 months and 4 months in the position respectively.

He has now resigned to pursue other business interests.

Gary Alfonso was appointed to head up FOX Networks Group's expansion into sub-Saharan Africa in mid-2016 and says his decision to resign is due to new opportunities.

"When I joined Fox Networks Group in Africa the immediate challenge was to ensure the company kept building its solid reputation as a global leader in entertainment, factual and sports content for pay TV audiences across the continent," says Gary Alfonso.

"I feel that was achieved successfully and it allowed the FNG team and I the opportunity to rapidly expand into the strategic business growth areas of live sports and content production."

"I'm proud to have been part of the teams that achieved the incredible launch and execution of the first-ever fully produced West Africa Cup of 16 Nations tournament in Ghana in September last year. We have also hosted live WBA-endorsed Africa Boxing tournaments in cities across Africa."

Adam Theiler, the executive vice president of FOX Networks Group Europe and Africa, says "Gary Alfonso is a veteran of the broadcasting industry with more than 30 years as a television and content professional. Previous experience includes CNBC Africa, Business Day TV, Media General in Ghana and the SABC. He’s not disclosed any immediate plans, but says he remains a champion and campaigner for better quality content for all audiences in Africa".

FNG Africa hasn't yet announced a replacement.

eNCA anchors Joanne Joseph and Ayanda Allie-Paine both resign in latest wave of high profile exits from the TV news channel. insiders told TVwithThinus that both the veteran anchor Joanne Joseph and Ayanda Allie-Paine are leaving eNCA (DStv 403) in the latest wave of high profile exits rocking the South African TV news channel, with eMedia Investments confirming that both have resigned.

Joanne Joseph and Ayanda Allie-Paine's resignations come hot on the heels of eNCA's former star crime and court reporter Kary Maughan who left last month, and the shock exit of Debbie Meyers, the head of current affairs at eNCA and

Meanwhile is also gutting its long running morning show Sunrise with plans to outsource its morning breakfast show that's been on the air since April 2008 to an outside production company, with shocked staffers who have been served retrenchment notices and are likely getting fired.

One insider described a situation where "morale is at an all time low and people are desperately searching for new jobs".

The highly respected Joanne Joseph has been anchoring the 16:00 to 18:00 timeslot on eNCA, and joined the Power FM radio station in February 2017. Her exit date from eNCA has not yet been finalized.

For Ayanda Allie-Paine its the second time she's leaving eNCA - this time after less than a year after she rejoined eNCA in May 2017 to anchor eNCA's new weekend morning programming strand, Weekend Wake Up on Saturdays and Sundays.

It's not clear who will replace her, or if Weekend Wake Up on eNCA is getting canned. Ayanda Allie-Paine's abrupt last appearance on eNCA will be over the coming Easter Weekend.

eNCA in response to a media enquiry says "eNCA can confirm that Joanne Joseph and Ayanda Allie-Paine have resigned to pursue new opportunities".

"Joanne has been with eNCA for almost nine years, anchoring various programmes during her tenure. As a consummate professional with over 20 years of experience, she has tirelessly helped lead the coverage of some of the most prominent news stories of the last decade," says eNCA.

"Joanne has made a valuable contribution to the channel," says Mapi Mhlangu, eNCA editor-in-chief. "She is a formidable journalist, who has used her skills to help our viewers navigate through the key stories during a particularly turbulent period in our democracy."

eNCA says Ayanda-Allie Paine who re-joined eNCA last year "energising the channel’s Saturday and Sunday morning line-up with the Weekend Wake Up. Her dynamic interviewing style and keen journalistic skills have led to a number of memorable moments on the channel". 

"Ayanda-Allie has an infectious passion for news and development, which will be missed by her colleagues and our viewers," says Mapi Mhlangu. "We wish Ayanda and Joanne all the best in their future endeavours." 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Before selling its treasured archives to MultiChoice, the SABC also sold it to ANN7 as Gupta executives laughed at 'stupid' SABC: 'The people at the SABC can be bought for a meal and a drink'.

Before the struggling South African public broadcaster sold its treasured archives to MultiChoice in a controversial channels deal, the SABC also apparently sold it to ANN7 (DStv 405) as Gupta executives laughed at the "stupid SABC" and said: "The people at the SABC can be bought for a meal and a drink; they are willing to give away their treasure trove of historical footage for peanuts".

The stunning claim is the latest of many to emerge from the buzzed about new book, Indentured: Behind the Scenes at Gupta TV, by author Rajesh Sundaram, a former ANN7 giving an insider's perspective on the horrific working conditions during the set-up and eventual disastrous launch of the "Gupta news" channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in August 2013.

While much has already been reported about the SABC's controversial deal with MultiChoice selling its archives to Naspers' pay-TV unit, it's now coming to light that the SABC actually also allegedly sold its archives for a fraction of what it's worth to the Gupta family accused in a litany of widespread State Capture allegations.

In his book, Rajesh Sundaram writes that that Laxmi Goel, an executive roped in by the Guptas to help with the setting up and launch of ANN7, during a meeting revealed "an elaborate plan to buy archival footage from the SABC".

"He told me how the Guptas had got a nod from the state broadcaster to buy this valuable archive. The SABC had plans to set up a 24/7 news channel of their own, but they were willing to sell their archives for a sweet deal to the Guptas".

"They have all their archives on mini DV tapes. Their library is not automated or digitised, and it takes them ages to find any footage. We will bring these tapes to our studio and digitise them. So from day one we will have a tapeless library with systems that will make it possible for us to pull out footage within a few seconds."

"We know the people at the SABC, so we will get footage at a very low rate. You will have to make sure that all the footage of historical importance at the SABC is included in the 100-hour bulk deal we plan to do with them," Laxmi Goel apparently told Rajesh Sundaram.

"But the SABC eventually did not allow the footage to be taken away from their office. Rahul Singh, a senior video librarian from India, was sent with mini digital video format tapes and asked to bring back 100 hours of footage from the thousands of tapes at the SABC archives".

"He spent about a month going to the SABC every day and sitting at a video editing bay there and transferring all the valuable historical footage the SABC had in its tape library. By the time he resigned and went back to India, he had collected 60 hours of priceless footage from the SABC library," writes Rajesh Sundaram.

"We are paying them a lump sum to get this footage. We have got a very sweet deal with them. The people at the SABC can be bought for a meal or a drink; they are willing to give away their treasure trove of historical footage footage for peanuts."

"They have a clause in the contract that says that we will have to also pay them a "per second" fee for every time we air the footage we have taken from them. But they are so stupid, how will they be able to tell what is their footage? How can they audit our use? We will get all their footage forever at just this one-time cost," Nazeem Howa said when the footage transfer were discussed later, writes Rajesh Sundaram.

He writes that Rahul was instructed "to take anyone he interacts with at the SABC for a drink or mean any time they wanted to when he was at the SABC transferring footage. He was told by Nazeem that this cost would be reimbursed to him".

"Get all of Nelson Mandela's footage, get footage of the atrocities on the blacks during the apartheid years; we can use it to show the young people of today how the whites treated their grandparents and parents. This footage is priceless, and I want you to take as much of it as possible back with you. Even if you get more than 100 hours, get that, we will pay them under the table, Atul Gupta told Rahul during our discussion."

"The archival footage at the SABC was indeed of a very high quality and in my view worth millions of rands," writes Rajesh Sundaram. "Nazeem, Laxmi and Atul repeatedly told me that the contract with the SABC for this sale favoured ANN7, was drafted by Gupta lawyers and that the price of the footage was 'peanuts' compared to its real value."

"Rahul digitised all the footage he got the very same day and catalogued and classified it on the video library system. This meant transferring the footage from tapes to servers. After the footage was tagged and put on the server, ANN7 was able to retrieve and air it in a matter of seconds, something that would take the SABC team hours or even days to do."

"I have not been able to figure out why the SABC signed this contract and handed valuable footage shot over decades to a company that had far superior archiving technology and would be a rival to its own proposed 24-hour news channel".

The SABC was asked in a media enquiry on Monday if the public broadcaster possibly has any comment or statement regarding what Rajesh Sundaram writes in his book Indentured: Behind the Scenes at Gupta TV, about the SABC and the SABC's archive material that was given to ANN7.

The SABC didn't respond.

Indentured: Behind the Scenes at Gupta TV is published by Jacana Media and is available in bookstores at R185.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Pabi Moloi the presenter of the latest season of SABC3's Presenter Search on 3.

Pabi Moloi who is a panelist on SABC3's late night talk show Trending SA will be the presenter of the new season of the channel's Presenter Search on 3 talent scouting competition show.

Nationwide auditions of the new season of Presenter Search on 3 will kick off this coming weekend, with the show that will start broadcasting on SABC3 on Thursday 10 May at 19:30.

Presenter Search on 3 will look for new faces to join established SABC3 shows like Top Billing, Expresso and Afternoon Express and is produced for SABC3 by Cardova Productions.

"I am thrilled at the chance to witness dreams coming true," says Pabi Moloi. "It's amazing how many people desire the simple opportunity to step under the lights and shine bright. SABC3 is opening the industry and I'm honoured to be a part of this journey."

Anybody who wants to audition can show up at the nationwide auditions starting this weekend in Port Elizabeth and fill out an entry form at the registration desk. More information is also available at

25 March (Sunday): Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Stadium
7 April (Saturday), 8 April (Sunday): Cape Town, Newlands rugby stadium
14 April (Saturday), 15 April (Sunday): Durban, Durban Exhibition Centre
20 April (Friday), 21 April (Saturday), 22 April (Sunday): Johannesburg, Wanderers Cricket Stadium

SuperSport gears up with changes for its longrunning Formula One show, Absolute F1, ahead of the new racing season with a new on-air look and Kriya Gangiah as the new lead presenter.

SuperSport decided to make changes to its longrunning show, Absolute F1, covering Formula One racing to co-incide with the new season starting in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday, with a new on-air look and Kriya Gangiah as the show's new lead presenter.

Absolute F1 will broadcast on SuperSport on Wednesdays at 19:30 in the week preceding Grands Prix.

Kriya Gangiah, a former Ignition TV anchor and a DJ on Jacaranda FM, will now front Absolute F1, and will be joined in studio by Batshobonke "Tschops" Sipuka, Vic Maharaj and Gary Formato.

Batshobonke "Tschops" Sipuka competed in the Formula Volkswagen class in Germany, saloon car racing in Malaysia and Super Truck racing in South Africa. He was also South Africa's first black motorsport champion, twice winning the Volkswagen Polo Cup Series.

Vic Maharaj is a motorsport engineer and Gary Formato is a local driver.

ITV pulls Saturday Night Takeaway, seen on ITV Choice, off the air after troubled co-presenter Ant McPartlin is arrested on suspicion of driving drunk after a car crash and goes back to rehab.

The British broadcaster ITV has pulled Saturday Night Takeaway off the air and the broadcast of the remaining episodes of the show, also seen on ITV Choice (DStv 123) in South Africa and Africa, are uncertain after co-presenter Ant McPartlin was arrested on Sunday afternoon over suspicion of drinking and driving drunk in southwest London following a car crash.

The troubled Ant McPartlin (42) is heading back to rehab with his publicist saying he is taking time off "for the foreseeable future" after he failed a roadside breathalyser test.

A child passenger in one of the cars was taken to hospital for a check-up as a precaution, according to police who arrived following a collision between 3 cars that required several people to get treatment for minor injuries.

Ant McPartlin spent 2 months in rehabilitation in 2017 after admitting that he's addicted to painkillers and alcohol. In January 2018 he confirmed that he is getting divorced from his wife Lisa Armstrong after 11 years.

"Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments. He has spoken with Dec and ITV today and asked for time off for the foreseeable future. As such, Saturday Night Takeaway will not be going ahead this Saturday," reads the statement.

There's still episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway left in the latest season, with the final episode that's supposed to be a live broadcast from the Universal Orlando Resort with 200 fans of the show flying out in a specially-chartered plane. Last year's final episode was done from Disneyworld in Florida.

ITV in its own statement says "ITV has taken a joint decision with Ant and Dec's team not to broadcast Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend".

'We will be reviewing options for the last two episodes of the series (31 March and 7 April) which would not feature Ant who is taking time off to seek treatment. We very much hope that he gets the help that he needs." says Jeremy Maggs is not leaving eNCA for an anchoring job at the SABC's SAfm radio station.

The veteran TV news anchor Jeremy Maggs is not leaving the South African TV news channel, eNCA (DStv 403). tells TVwithThinus that "there's no truth to the reports that Jeremy Maggs is leaving eNCA".

It comes after Sunday tabloid press splashed that SABC insiders at the public broadcaster's SAfm have been chattering excitedly that "veteran presenter Jeremy Maggs might be brought in to do the afternoon drive show called PMLive".

Jeremy Maggs that anchored NewsNight on eNCA, moved to anchor NewsDay in May 2017. NewsDay is eNCA's afternoon block between 13:00 and 16:00.

Meanwhile "PMLive" on SAfm is on between 16:00 and 18:00 on weekdays.

If you were the host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? you can do basically anything, but not even Jeremy Maggs can't be in one place at the one moment and instantly in another place the next, meaning that if he were to do a SAfm show, he'd have to leave eNCA.

According to Jeremy Maggs is staying put.

eNCA that started out as the eNews Channel in June 2008 will be celebrating a decade on the air soon and is turning 10 years old in June 2018.

BREAKING. eNCA slaps back at EFF's Julius Malema after the political leader accuses the TV news channel of 'protecting white privilege'; eNCA says its journalists are now getting threatening messages.

eNCA (DStv 403) is slapping back at the caustic political leader of the Economic Feeedom Fighters, Julius Malema, who on Sunday accused eNCA of protecting white privilege as a channel that allegedly "perpetuate white supremacy", with eNCA's managing director and editor-in-chief, Mapi Mhlangu, saying that eNCA opposes racist domination and that eNCA journalists are now being threatened and targeted with threatening messages.

On Sunday, Julius Malema tweeted that "the changes at SABC are worrisome, someone is busy creating eNCA lite at the SABC. We have to find a way of stopping whiteness from taking over the only platform of black people before is [sic] too late. eNCA is the platform that perpetuate white supremacy and there's no doubt."

"I think EFF should really discuss in depth the role of eNCA in perpetuating and defending white privilege and see if we can't come to the same conclusion we did with the ANN7."

"On Sunday 18 March 2018, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, accused eNCA of protecting white privilege and white supremacy on Twitter. This accusation is disturbing given the values at the core of eNCA's journalism over the last decade," says Mapi Mhlangu.

Mapi Mhlangu says Julius Malema's "tweets have consequences, not least because he is the leader of a political party with substantial representation and support across South Africa. The first of these consequences have been threats to individual journalists in the wake of his online messages".

"Despite our relative small size as a news organisation, we have consistently dedicated our limited resources to stories which have put justice, equality and human rights at the centre of our news, in line with our insistence that we offer news without fear or favour."

"Our staff have consistently told stories about what is broken in this country, how it can be fixed and how we can make each other accountable," says Mapi Mhlangu.

"Julius Malema's characterisation of eNCA is not supported by the factual record. The channel's majority stakeholder is a black empowerment company, Hoskins Consolidated Investments (HCI), and of that a significant share of eMedia Investments' is held by the South African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu). The ownership of eNCA through eMedia is therefore not as has often been alleged in public."

"Additionally, the staff members at eNCA are representative of the diversity of people who make up contemporary South Africa, who bring to their work divergent political views and social experiences, which inform our story-telling in ways which South Africans have appreciated to the extent of making us the most-watched channel among news viewers."

Mapi Mhlangu says that "at any other time in our country’s history" Julius Malema's tweets "would have required a response from the editorial team, not least because it is a question of ensuring the safety of journalists in a democratic society".

"In the year ahead of what may be South Africa’s most important general elections since the abolition of legislated apartheid, the role of the news media and the safety of those who work in this crucial sector, cannot be overstated. We must remind ourselves the role that South Africa’s journalists and media organisations played in holding executive power to account and their key role in protecting the democratic order, which eventually saw the reinstitution of corruption charges against a former head of state."

"Furthermore, eNCA operates in a highly regulated space governed by The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA). If political organisations or their leaders have concerns about news media organisations or their output, there are structures and processes in democratic South Africa available to them to pursue their complaints."

"The BCCSA is one avenue through which any person or organisation may pursue their complaint should direct engagement with that media organisation not be satisfactory. This is the democratic right assured all of us in democratic South Africa," says Mapi Mhlangu.

"Media freedom and the safety of journalists are under increasing threat around the world.  South Africans fought long and hard to guarantee this freedom as a pillar of the constitutional democracy.  Political parties, leaders and citizens have the freedom to criticise the media, but also have the responsibility to do so through the channels available to them in ways which contribute to strengthening democracy and accountability."

"eNCA is an organisation founded by people who opposed racist domination, and every day the hundreds of people who work incredibly hard to make eNCA the most watched news channel on satellite television in South Africa reaffirm that commitment to a democratic country in which we celebrate a plurality of views within the letter and spirit of constitutional democracy."

"We affirm that commitment to a democratic country in which we celebrate a plurality of views within the letter and spirit of constitutional democracy."

INTERVIEW. Football star (and Jedi dancer) Delron Buckey exits M-Net's Dancing with the Stars South Africa: 'It's like an arranged marriage', 'I've never ever felt so nervous'.

On Sunday night the retired Bafana Bafana winger (and now Jedi dancer), Delron Buckley became the 5th celebrity contestant to be voted out of Dancing with the Stars SA on M-Net (DStv 101), saying he would have loved to make it to the next round.

TVwithThinus spoke with Delron Buckley, who danced with his partner, the former professional ballerina Angelique Allison, and shared about losing 14kg and fitting back in his clothes of 5 years, ago, how the show changed him, the friends he made, and how he was much more nervous stepping into the spotlight on the dance floor than when he played football in front of 90 000 people watching in a stadium.

Is there anything you think you could have done differently?
No, not really. Ha ha. I gave it my whole with every dance. I did it with passion, with love, with 100%, so that's the way the cookie crumbles. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every minute, I wouldn't change anything. I went into this show, got my dancing on and made it to the 7th episode.

How do you feel about being voted out?
Well, on the one side I'm very sad because I would have loved to go to the next round.
But you know, the competition was really competitive. I mean, the celebrities are picking up their game.You saw the way everybody was improving.
It was hard, I mean, if someone says to me, "Ja, you're eliminated. You're the loser," - no. I'm not the loser, I'm the winner because through this whole dancing experience I got to meet such a lot of nice people.
I made friends, met celebrities, and even people working on the dome backstage, doing the camera. You cannot believe the experience and friends that I've made, and all the kinds of stuff which just made me feel "wow, I'm one of the dancers". So if someone says to me you lost - I didn't lose. I won big time.

What has the experience been like for you?
It's been a "wow experience". I've never ever though that the dancing industry is such a world that opened my eyes - for one - because it showed me a lot of things.
It's one of the best experiences I've ever had besides me playing football on the top level in Germany.

What did you think of the judges?
Well, at the end of the day the judges, they're the legends, they're the professionals, they know if a person's posture isn't right. They know if you're on top form, so I listened to everything they said to me. I took it in and tried to implement it even much better.
But they're doing their job.You can't hold them responsible if they're negative to the celebrities and to the dance. As I've said, I took it with a smile and tried to do better in the next show. But yesterday wasn't enough and that's the way it went.

What was the hardest for you?
The hardest for me was coming out of my comfort zone because I just know playing football, overseas, in front of 90 000 people is a different category.
And then you come to the dancing industry where you have to learn steps. I've never danced in my life and I had to learn how to dance.
Then you come into the rehearsals, being in the dome a few days before the live show, and it's the spotlights, there's cameras, there's people backstage, everybody running around - and that was just totally different for me.
I mean, it was nerve-wrecking to be honest with you, standing there and waiting to go onto the dance floor and dance.
I've never ever, to be honest with you, never ever felt so nervous. Even when I played football and ran on the field - 90 000 people watching you play - I was never nervous.
But in this dancing show you cannot perceive all the mixed emotions going through my head before I ended up on the dance floor.

What did you not expect about this journey?
It was very, very hard. We were practising 8 hours a day and I even lost 10kg in two weeks, so it tells you the effort and the training I put in. It was also mentally challenging.
They give you a partner - it's like an arranged marriage.
They give you a partner that you've never seen, I didn't know this person's character, she didn't know my character, she didn't know how I am, I didn't know how she is - and then you're with this person for 8 hours a day, every single day.
It was very mentally challenging, which also opened my eyes to other people's way, how they react.
I was very privileged to have a dancer like Angelique Allison because she was very professional.
What I liked about her is she was never a person who was late, she always had our choreography one week in advance. She was planned. She was so good at doing all the admin and the music and doing the choreography that I was astonished and I was happy to have her as my partner.

What did you learn about yourself?
Ha ha. To push myself to a level that I never thought I'd get to.
The first dance I did was a quick step and I thought to myself "Oh, I'm going to fall out in the first round because I can't do this.
And all of a sudden I thought, you know, I pushed myself so hard, so what I've learnt is you keep on pushing yourself - because the challenge I took on was Dancing with the Stars SA - if you push yourself so hard you can achieve what you didn't expect you could.

You already said you lost 10kg, how did Dancing with the Stars SA change your body physically?
Well, I'm actually very, very happy because now I've got my weight I used to have when I used to play professional football 5 years ago. And my clothes are fitting me again. Ha ha.
I have my weight, my body is looking tops, so I just have to maintain it now and make sure that I keep looking this way.
Every time I felt I was moving quicker, moving better. Like for instance with my partner I had, Angelique, she loved to be lifted up in the air and turned around, and that was getting easier because of me losing weight. The less kilograms you've got on the more faster, the more flexible you are. That's what I felt.

Somizi Mhlongo in the hot seat in Comedy Central’s third South African Roast.

Comedy Central (DStv 122) is doing a 3rd in its localised South African series of The Comedy Central Roast of ... with socialite and choreographer Somizi Mhlongo who will be taking the hot seat in The Comedy Central Roast of Somizi set for broadcast on the channel on 7 May.

An uncensored version of the Somizi roast will be made available on MultiChoice's subscription video-on-demand service (SVOD) Showmax from 8 May.

The Comedy Central Roast of Somizi follows a roast of Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr in September 2012, and one with Kenny Kunene in early 2014 who replaced Leon Schuster at short notice.

Somizi Mhlongo continues as one of the trio of judges for the upcoming 14th season of Idols on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) that is currently filming the nationwide auditions and just competed the shooting of the grueling Theatre Week this past weekend at the Wild Coast Sun in Port Edward. He is also one of the presenters of the magazine gossip show V Entertainment on 1Magic (DStv 103).

"We're definitely looking forward to seeing both Somizi and the panel feel the burn," says Dillon Khan, the vice president for Comedy Central and creative services for Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa), in a statement. "South Africans throw shade on a daily basis with no filter and that’s how we like our roasts."

Somizi Mhlongo in the statement says "I am really excited to be the Roastee. The moment Comedy Central approached me I grabbed the opportunity. I have always wanted to be part of this project. I have what it takes to handle the heat because I am thick skinned. Despite my trials I am here standing and ready for the next bout. I’m definitely up for this, especially when I get to have the last laugh at the panelists.”

Candice Fangueiro, the head of content for Africa at Showmax says "Creating great entertainment means taking risks and Comedy Central’s Roasts are legendary for taking no prisoners. This is exactly the fresh, edgy content we love bringing to Showmax and something we’d like to do much more of in the future".

The filming of the Comedy Central Roast of Somizi is open for public attendance and will take place on Thursday 26 April at The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg. 

Sundance looking for South African short films for the 2018 SundanceTV Shorts Competition.

AMC Networks International is launching a 2018 SundanceTV film competition and is now looking for South African short film entries as well, with the winning film that will be broadcast on SundanceTV (DStv 108) later this year and that will premiere during the Sundance Film Festival in London taking place from the end of May.

South African film makers can now enter films for the inaugural 2018 SundanceTV Shorts Competition until 15 April at and must not be longer than 15 minutes. The producer or director of the film must provide proof of South African residency.

Submitted films must be delivered with English subtitles if English isn't the spoken language in the film, and films must meet the official rules and technical requirements.

Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice's head of content, will be part of the panel of jurors judging the competition this year, along with SundanceTV and the Sundance Institute. 

"The SundanceTV Shorts Competition reflects the very essence of the channel," says Geraud Alazard, the senior vice president of marketing at AMC Networks International.

"It encapsulates SundanceTV’s unique energy and passion, shining a spotlight on independent storytelling and emerging talent. We're incredibly excited to collaborate with Sundance Institute again this year and we're enormously grateful for the support of our affiliate partner, MultiChoice."

Mike Plante, the senior programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, says "The SundanceTV Shorts Competition plays an admirable role in highlighting and celebrating the medium of short film and seeking out new film making talent. It's always a real treat to view the surprising and diverse entries."

The Jury Prize for the 2018 SundanceTV Shorts competition will be judged on a number of criteria, including creativity, entertainment value, original storytelling and production values.

The jury, presided by Mike Plante of Sundance Institute, will include Harold Gronenthal from SundanceTV Global, Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice's head of content, and Helen Kuun of Indigenous Film.

The winner will receive a trip for two to London and their film will be screened during Sundance Film Festival: London at a SundanceTV event in June. The winner will be announced in May.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

M-Net oddly keeps the media covering Idols on Mzansi Magic at bay and away from the 14th season's Theatre Week in Port Edward.

South Africa's press covering television has apparently been kept away at more than arms' length this weekend during the last part of the filming of the Theatre Week of the 14th season of Idols on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).

As in previous years, 90 Idols finalists from across South Africa were whisked away this week to the Wild Coast Sun in Port Edward in southern KwaZulu-Natal.

Unlike previous years however there wasn't any communication from M-Net about it to journalists covering the show at all, nor media invitations to members of the press like in the past to come and sit in and cover this usually infamous part of the reality singing competition series.

In previous seasons journalists sat in and watched contestants perform and get critiqued while the remaining contestants got whittled down in dramatic fashion.

The 14th season of Idols will kick off on Mzansi Magic in July.

Previously M-Net would invite journalists along to bank stories and do interviews - under embargo - for when the show, produced by [SIC] Entertainment, would reach Theatre Week's on-air broadcasting date on Mzansi Magic. But apparently not this year.

This week the top 90 Idols finalists and the production again descended on the Wild Coast Sun in Port Edward with judges Randall Abrahams, Somizi Mhlongo, Unathi Msengana and presenter and co-executive producer ProVerb (Tebogo Thekisho).

It follows the various regional auditions in several South African cities since the beginning of this year after the 13th season finale in which Paxton Fielies was crowned the winner and the Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba fled the stage after being unable to cope with his defeat.

It's not clear why M-Net didn't reach out to the usual group of press consistently covering the show to once again take a red theatre seat in the Wild Coast Sun auditorium where they get to see some of the show, and get some insight into what's happening during Theatre Week in Port Edward. The result will be less exposure for this part of Idols when it airs on Mzansi Magic.

In America the broadcast of the 16th season of American Idol kicked off last week.

The Voice UK undergoing a format change for its 8th season set for 2019, allowing bigger groups to audition.

The 8th season of The Voice UK that will be broadcast in 2019 is undergoing a format change with the 7th season that is currently being shown on ITV Choice (DStv 123).

The 8th season in 2019 will allow for bigger groups beyond solo artists to take part during auditions, for instance duos and trios.

"We know there are many talented trios out there across the United Kingdom and we want to offer them the chance to show off their vocal harmonies on The Voice UK stage," says Katie Rawcliffe, ITV Studios' creative director.

The 8th season of The Voice UK has now entered its "Knockout" round, shown on Sundays at 18:00.

"It's going to be tense, it's going to be nerve-wracking, but most of all it's going to be hugely entertaining," says Katherine Wen, ITV Choice channel director.

MultiChoice Malawi upgrades to DStv HD5 decoder.

MultiChoice Malawi has upgraded to the DStv HD5 decoder that is now being rolled out and replacing the 4S and 4U DStv decoder models.

The new HD5 decoder is the 5S and 5U models that doesn't have a removal smartcard slot.

"The biggest difference is that it is our first decoder that will not make use of a smartcard," says Chimwemwe Nyirenda, MultiChoice Malawi sales and marketing manager, in a statement.

The number used when adding this DStv decoder to an account, or calling the customer care centre for support is the IUC number on the sticker underneath the decoder.

The DStv HD5 decoder supports SD video through AV out and HD video via HDMI. Dolby Digital/Surround Sound is via HDMI only. The new HD decoder has a DStv B6 remote which can be used to switch on and off a TV set.

StarTimes Ghana warns broadcasters, public over illegal piracy of Ghana Premier League matches.

China's StarTimes in Ghana is warning broadcasters and the public in the West African country over illegal broadcasting piracy of Ghana Premier League matches, saying broadcasters are not allowed to steal and rebroadcast matches, that rebroadcasting on social media is illegal, and that even radio commentary of matches are not allowed either.

"'StarTimes is by this communique calling on all media houses to desist from broadcasting the Ghana Premier League matches without the requisite license," says Akofa Djankui, StarTimes Ghana head of marketing in a press statement.

''As the official broadcaster of the Ghana Premier League and other GFA products, we hold the exclusive rights to the airing of the content live on radio, television and online streaming."

"'StarTimes is aware that a number of media houses run commentary on radio and use unauthorized viewing systems (websites/Facebook) to stream the matches live. 'This practice of airing matches without any license from the official broadcaster infringes on the broadcaster's right."

''StarTimes together with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) will take strong and active measures towards the enforcement of our copyright and will pursue criminal and civil actions against any media house and journalist who supply unauthorized footage and audio commentary from the various matches.''

The cash-strapped SABC spent over R740 000 of SABC TV licence fee payers' money on a brand-new Audi Q5 for the controversial former SABC board chairperson, Mbulaheni Maguvhe.

The cash-strapped SABC spent over R740 000 of SABC TV licence fee payers' money on a brand-new Audi Q5 2.0 TDI for the controversial former SABC board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe, while the South African public broadcaster was in serious financial trouble.

The Sunday Times revealed that the SABC forked out over R700 000 for Mbulaheni Maguvhe's new luxury German ride in July 2016.

The current SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini doesn't get a car.

The controversial Mbulaheni Maguvhe doggedly refused to resign as all of the other former SABC board members resigned, and eventually left in December 2016 during a parliamentary ad hoc inquiry into the shocking state of affairs at the SABC, its board, and its rotten state of financial and management affairs.

Mbulaheni Maguvhe tried to thwart the inquiry and transparency into the SABC with an attempt at a court interdict that was dismissed and he was ordered to personally pay the court costs.

Parliament found that Mbulaheni Maguvhe and others allegedly lied during the parliamentary's inquiry into the SABC.

In a written reply to a question from the Democratic Alliance (DA) political party, the former minister of communications, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, says the SABC paid more than the standard cost of R620 000 of what a Audi Q5 sold for at the time, because of added extra's.

These included R119 000 in additional vehicle perks that were added to the price of Mbulaheni Maguvhe's new SUV, including alloy wheels costing R24 000, a sunroof of R18 000, R8 870 on a parking assistance system, R4 623 for tinted windows, xenon lights costing R11 000, atowbar for R10 000, and an electronic "luggage system" costing R5 500.

An annual SABC TV licence fee currently cost R265. It means that the full SABC TV licence fee money of 2 792 people would have been needed to buy the Audi Q5 for the SABC that is a public broadcaster and is supposed to carefully and with due diligence use money to do the best public broadcasting it can.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told The Sunday Times that the SABC board has now made a decision to "sell the car and the process is underway".

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Funeral today for Alph Modiba, former SABC News Polokwane TV assignment editor, who died on Monday after a horrific car crash in November 2017.

The funeral will be taking place today of Alph Modiba, a former SABC News Polokwane TV assignment editor who died on Monday, 12 March, after 4 months in hospital following a car crash in late-2017.

Alph Modiba's funeral service is taking place today at the Lebalangwe Village in Hammanskraal.

Alph Modiba worked at the SABC's regional office in Polokwane in the Limpopo province for the past 12 years.

Alph Modiba was hospitalised on 4 November 2017 after he was involved in a horrific car accident between Polokwane and Hammanskraal.

Alph Modiba worked at SABC News for about 36 years that included stints in KwaZulu-Natal, Johannesburg and Pretoria where his family lives. He was a political reporter in his earlier career and did coverage of the late president Nelson Mandela in the early 1990's.

He was arrested in August 2006 after he was pulled over and became embroiled in an altercation with traffic police after allegedly failing to stop at a stop sign and gave a false name, false house number and a false street name.

Friday, March 16, 2018

M-Net's weekly investigative magazine show, Carte Blanche, this Sunday at 7pm looks at illegal land invasions, the 'impossible' minimum wage, and interviews Mhlengi Gwala after criminals tried to saw off his legs.

M-Net's weekly investigative magazine show, Carte Blanche, on Sunday at 19:00 will be looking at illegal land invasions in South Africa, how impossible it is to live on South Africa's so-called "minimum wage", and there's a profile interview with Mhlengi Gwala after criminals tried to saw off his legs.

Illegal Land Invasions
Illegal land invasions across Gauteng are causing widespread panic, amidst continued political discussions about land expropriation without compensation.
President Ramaphosa has made it clear that nobody has the right to illegally occupy land or infringe on the property rights of others, but this has done little to appease terrified land owners who say irresponsible political utterances are turning the debate into a chaotic free-for-all. 
Some property owners have meanwhile moved off their
properties, saying they fear for their lives and cannot rely
on the police for assistance.
Producer: Sophia Phirippides
Presenter: Macfarlane Moleli
Researcher: Siniketiwe Hlanze

Minimum Wage
Over 50% of South African workers are living below the breadline of R992 per person, per month. Government is addressing this by implementing a new income benchmark of R3500 as a minimum wage.  
Experts believe it’s a step in the right direction to help alleviate poverty, but some trade unions say this will only help entrench existing conditions for low-income employees. Can the majority of South African workers really survive on this minimum wage?
Producer: Sophia Phirippides
Presenter: Macfarlane Moleli

Mhlengi Gwala: Road to Recovery
When three assailants stopped triathlete Mhlengi Gwala during his late night training session, little did he know that the brutal chainsaw attack which followed would change his life forever.  
Now after multiple surgeries to save his legs, Gwala has begun the long road to recovery.  
Doctors believe it could take up to two years before he’s fully back on his feet, and even then, there are no guarantees that he will ever be able to race again.  Carte Blanche meets this remarkable survivor.
Producer: Carol Albertyn Christie
Presenter: Nhlanhla Sehume
Researcher: Sinethemba Nogude

M-Net's The Wedding Bashers replaces two presenters with Zola Nene and Bernelee Daniell, adds 4 specials from April before the 2nd season starts in June.

The Wedding Bashers on M-Net (DStv 101) that is returning for a second season in June is replacing Cindy Nell-Roberts and Siba Mtongana with the former Miss South Africa Bernelee Daniell and celebrity chef Zola Nene.

The second season of The Wedding Bashers for which people can enter now, will start on 3 June on M-Net at 17:00 covering more diverse and eclectic South African weddings, but before that the show produced by [SIC] Entertainment will be doing 4 special episodes from Sunday 29 April.

The Wedding Bashers Specials ... With Love will start on 29 April at 18:00 in which the presenters do all of the wedding planning themselves for 4 couples about to get married and who hand over the reigns to the presenters for their big day.

While wedding planner Zavion Kotze and socialite Denise Zimba are back for the second season, Bernelee Daniell and Zola Nene are replacing Cindy Nell-Roberts and Siba Mtongana.

In petition, 116 SABC News staffers warn over ongoing allegations of victimisation, political interference, Hlaudi enforcers and sex for jobs at the public broadcaster.

The SABC is silent over a petition, signed by 116 SABC News staffers, warning that political interference at the SABC continues, that "there is a re-emergence of reprisals against those who stood for the truth and for an independent broadcaster", that "victimisation of staff who stand for ethics continue" and that allegations of "sex for jobs" at the SABC should be investigated.

The SABC was asked for comment on Thursday, but the broadcaster declined the opportunity to comment.

SABC staffers in the petition - signed by 116 infuriated and extremely concerned SABC staffers including key SABC News staff like editors, producers and technical personnel - states that they fear that the SABC is still being ruled by enforcers of the fired former chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and that victimisation and political interference in their jobs to bring the public the news, continues.

In the petition that was sent to SABC top management in mid-February, staffers say they have deep concerns and are furious over developments in the SABC News division.

The 116 staffers in the petition given to SABC top management by the Bemawu trade union, say that the SABC newsroom "is still being led by enforcers" of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, "some of whom continue to disregard the changed editorial environment that calls for conscience and professionalism such as Sophie Mokoena's unethical instruction to staff not to ask any question on president Jacob Zuma's recall in a recent ANC press conference".

SABC staffers said that "political interference continues" at SABC News, demand the "removal of the current compromised presidential corps team" and wants to know from the SABC's top executives why "the SABC continues to employ disgraces and discredited executives who propped up the previous regime.These people, such as Theresa Geldenhuys, who has been promoted to head of governance and compliance, were found liable for serious transgressions by parliament's ad hoc committee".

The SABC staffers in the petition warned that "there is a re-emergence of reprisals against those who stood for the truth and for an independent broadcaster".

"Victimisation of staff who stand for ethics continues. Here we cite the cases of David Magae, Boitumelo Koroge, Elvis Presslin, Mandisa Mazwi, Thandeka Gqubule, Phuthego Mojapele among others".

The petition also calls for an investigation into the alleged "misuse of SABC funds at a time when we are on economic austerity". In the petition, staffers also "demand an investigation into alleged sex for jobs at the Mpumalanga office and everywhere else where such allegations have been made".

SABC News channel turmoil
Furthermore, according to the petition, "For the past 6 months, our news division has fallen prey to unprofessionalism mainly due to poor leadership and management by the acting head of news and current affairs, Kenneth Makatees" that the staffers say "has been reminiscent of the Hlaudi-style of management".

According to staffers he has been moved to the SABC's SABC News (DStv 404) channel broadcast on MultiChoice's DStv.

"We demand a proper advertising of the post and his removal from the Johannesburg newsroom as his presence is bound to destabilise the newsroom and hamper progress," the petition states. "Management must bear in mind that he was previously removed through a petition from the erstwhile SABC Africa (TV channel)".

The SABC staffers in the petition further demanded  "the immediate removal of acting head of the news channel, Tebogo Alexander" for allegedly undermining executive producers, "threatening reprisals on his subordinates instead of resolving newsroom issues professionally", the intimidation of contractors with dismissals, bullying of his colleagues and "absolutely no professional mannerism or leadership skills".

The 116 SABC News staffers called on the SABC management "for an investigation into his behaviour and his track record as a manager at the SABC where there is a pattern of reported harassment of staff and abuse of power and position against his subordinates".

SABC News staffers wanted to know why shows are suddenly and unilaterally being pulled off air on the SABC News channel.

"Staff was told Rights and Recourse would be removed from the channel 404 schedule as from 31 March. However on Friday 23 February the team was told that their last show would be broadcast on Sunday 25 February without further clarity".

Question Time was also cancelled. "It is worth noting that this programme has annoyed news management in the past with its editorial independence and refusal to accept illegal instructions," the petition notes.

In the petition staffers also "demand the speedy appointment of a permanent head of the TV News Resources department which continues to be run unprofessionally without any sense of accountability by those who act in that position".

SABC: It's an internal matter
The SABC was asked for comment about the petition. The SABC then asked for specific questions, in order to respond adequately to the media enquiry.

The SABC was then asked why was Theresa Geldenhuys appointed as head of governance and compliance if she was found liable for serious transgressions during parliament’s inquiry into the SABC?

The SABC was asked about staffers saying there a “re-emergence of reprisals” against them and victimisation of staff who "stand for professional ethics" and if the SABC can comment on this.

The SABC was asked why Kenneth Makatees was moved to the SABC News channel, and if the SABC can comment on the petition that asked for the immediate removal of Tebogo Alexander as the acting head of the SABC News channel, and if this has happened.

The SABC was asked why shows like Question Time and Rights and Recourse on SABC News were cancelled,and asked if the SABC has any comment on SABC staffers saying that Sophie Mokoena gave "unethical instruction to staff not to ask any question on president Zuma’s recall in a recent ANC press conference".

The SABC was also asked if in general if there is anything the SABC wants to put into context or perspective in response to the petition as a whole.

SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago said in response to the specific questions in the media enquiry that "this is an internal matter and we will not comment until all the internal processes are exhausted".

Below is the petition in its entirety: 

12 February 2018:
This petition serves to register our deep concern and infuriation with current developments in the News Division. This is despite the achievements of the Ad-Hoc committee’s inquiry into the SABC in 2016. This petition appeals to the board to urgently meet staff and address the following concerns;
A year since Parliament’s Ad-Hoc Committee issued its significant and binding recommendations for change at the SABC:
  • We are yet to see the end of impunity where those who were responsible for violating our editorial standing in society through their unlawful conduct and enforcement of political instructions, are held to account.
  • The SABC’s newsroom is still being led by enforcers, some of whom continue to disregard the changed editorial environment that calls for conscience and professionalism such as Ms Sophie Mokoena’s unethical instruction to staff not to ask any question on President Zuma’s recall in a recent ANC press conference.
  • Political interference continues, the latest known having been reported to the board recently without response or action against the implicated party. Instead, those who sought to report it are portrayed as liars.
  • We demand the immediate removal of the current compromised presidential corps team and the institution of an editorially independent team that represents the interest of the SABC as the voice of society, and not embed itself with the presidency.
  • Other than James Aguma and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC continues to employ disgraced and discredited executives who propped up the previous regime. These people, such as Theresa Geldenhuys, who has been promoted to Head of Governance and Compliance, were found liable for serious transgressions by the ad hoc committee.
  • Management and the board promised to deal with the issue of enforcers speedily a year ago, however to date, they are yet to act. [Following a motion of no confidence against the said enforcers, management and the board pleaded for patience as they were dealing with the matter, but nothing has come of it].
  • We are told that they will also be investigated by the SIU, but it boggles the mind how the SIU that investigates criminal behaviour can also make a finding on editorial issues.
  • There is a re-emergence of reprisals against those who stood for the truth and for an independent public broadcaster. Victimisation of staff who stand for professional ethics continues. Here we cite the cases of David Magae, Boitumelo Korogo, Elvis Presslin, Mandisa Mazwi, Thandeka Gqubule, Phuthego Mojapele among others.
More than once, the SABC has been compromised editorially and our credibility and integrity will continue to be questioned. Our presidential correspondent compromise us editorially by sheepishly failing to call the executive to account, despite this, no one has been held responsible.
  • We demand that the political editor and news management be held accountable for making decisions that compromise us editorially
  • We demand an investigation into why the SABC failed to cover the address of the newly-elected ANC president at Nasrec, despite us having the staff and equipment at the venue.
Mismanagement of the newsroom
For the past six months, our news division has fallen prey to unprofessionalism mainly due to poor leadership and management by the Acting Head of News and Current Affairs, Kenneth Makatees.
  • Mr Makatees style of management and leadership has been reminiscent of the Hlaudi-style of management. He has imposed his preferred guests on Media Monitor staff, insisting on his involvement in the invitation of guests to Question Time, and micro-managing the newsroom and thus undermining his managers.
  • We hear that he has now been moved to channel 404, we demand a proper advertising of the post and his removal form the Johannesburg newsroom as his presence is bound to distabilise the newsroom and hamper progress.
  • Management must bear in mind that he was previously removed through a petition from the erstwhile SABC Africa.
Channel 404
We demand the immediate removal of Acting head of the news channel, Tebogo Alexander for:
  • Undermining of EP’s
  • Threatening reprisals on his subordinates instead of resolving newsroom issues professionally
  • Intimidation of contractors with dismissals
  • Bullying of his colleagues
  • Absolutely no professional mannerism or leadership skills
His behaviour disregards the rights and dignity of employees as outlined in the Constitution of South Africa and the LRA. We call for an investigation into his behaviour and his track record as a manager at the SABC where there is a pattern of reported harassment of staff and abuse of power and position against his subordinates.
Cancellation of Programmes on Channel 404
In a display of the lack of management skills from the top of the News Division for five years, there has been no performance agreements or an understanding of what the shows aim to achieve. However teams have worked diligently to produce and broadcast these programmes. Suddenly and without professional and scientific rationale as well as consultation, programmes are being unilaterally pulled off air.
Affected staff has been told to ‘slot’ themselves into other shows. These are important decisions which must be done according to administrative procedure i.e. in a consultative thus professional manner.
We demand that no show be taken off air until the newly appointed GE can make her own decisions based on rationale and factual basis, informed by a news strategy, which has been consulted with the news staff. The SABC newsroom must be protected from personal vendettas and whims by some in management.
While we believe that management is within its right to decide on programme changes, but they need to be done in professional consultation with fellow managers and supported by rational reasons if they are to be cancelled.
The following programmes at issue are also the only audience interactive programmes on Channel 404;
Rights and Recourse – Following a meeting with Acting-GE: News Kenneth Makatees, staff was told that Rights and Recourse will be removed from Channel 404 schedule as from March 31 2018. However, on Friday the 23rd of February 2018, the team was told that their last show would be broadcast on Sunday the 25th of February without a further clarity.
Question Time – In the six months that Kenneth Makatees has been Acting as GE: News, he neglected to meet the Executive Producer about the programme’s performance. The Executive Producer had to hear from colleagues in the corridor about its cancellation before he was officially told by his line manager. The market intelligence figures show that this programme is the highest performing on the platform, therefore the decision to cut it is surprising. However, it is worth noting that this programme has annoyed news management in the past with its editorial independence and refusal to accept illegal instructions.
National Government events versus ANC party events
Radio Current Affairs programmes were told that they will not travel to Parliament during SONA citing financial reasons. We would accept this if all events were treated equally. However, there is a precedent set where we over deploy to ANC events but have financial constraints when we have public events like SONA and BUDGET. We broadcast for the country and not the party. Eighty people were deployed to East London during the ANC’s January 8th statement. However, when it came to the crunch time of the broadcast – the team in Johannesburg had to take over; despite an over deployment.
We call for an investigation into this misuse of SABC funds at a time when we are on economic austerity. Similar incidences such as the Cuba trip (to cover the death if former Cuban leader Fidel Castro) must be investigated.
We wish to register concern about potential compromise of the process of appointing a Regional Editor in Kwa-Zulu Natal. We are aware of the fact that the process had to be halted because one of the interviewing panel members was conflicted and had not declared this. We call for a transparent recruitment process, free of undue influence where the best candidate must be appointed.
  • We also call for an investigation into Senior news management appointments, both in the national office as well as the regions.
  • SABC’s recruitment policy has been ignored in the appointment of a Provincial Editor in Limpopo. The appointment whose interviews, if any, were done secretively was made despite an on-going grievance procedure with the Acting/GCEO
  • We demand an investigation into alleged sex for jobs at the Mpumalanga office and everywhere else where such allegations have been made.
Staff Vetting for National Keypoint
We demand a halt to the vetting process which violates our constitutional right to privacy and dignity. The SABC as a National Keypoint is a matter that needs further deliberation and until such time, we will not allow our rights to be violated in this manner.
We request an investigation into the irregular and inconsistent decisions to renew some contracts for the News technical team, and decline to do so for others where reasons provided defy logic.
We also demand the speedy appointment of a permanent head of the TV News Resources department which continues to be run unprofessionally without any sense of accountability by those who act in that position.
 HR Responsiveness
There are cases that remain unresolved for many years, despite the knowledge of News HR. We demand responsive HR department that is willing and able to resolve issues of workers without any bias.
 SABC’S Editor-In-Chief
Following a number of concerning pronouncements about the expected role of the newly appointed COO, we wish to remind management that in terms of the 2004 editorial policy which is currently in force, the editor in chief of the SABC is the CEO and not the COO. The News department is headed by the GE News who reports to the CEO. We therefore demand clarity on the role and responsibility of the COO in light of the fact that the matter regarding the decision to cut programmes has been referred to the COO.
We urgently request a meeting between the board and staff to discuss the issues raised above.
Yours sincerely
The undersigned (signatures on attachment)