The SABC has responded to anger over an interview with former executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng which aired on Tuesday.
“While it is understandable that featuring him on our news programmes would generate anger and discomfort for some of our audiences, it is our journalistic obligation to afford him the ‘right to reply’. He had to be given the opportunity to state his side of the story as he has widely been condemned as the architect of the SABC’s collapse,” the SABC said in a statement released on Tuesday night.
“As a public service, SABC News continues to strive to ensure that journalistic principles are adhered to, to maintain balance and evenhandedness in its news coverage. It is within this spirit that Mr Motsoeneng was given the right to reply to criticism that has been leveled against him in our reportage.” (full statement below)
In the interview on the Morning Live show, Motsoeneng was asked to respond to allegations that his tenure had led to the collapse of the SABC. Motsoeneng turned the tables and accused the current management of incompetence.
“People are mobilising to lie about Hlaudi. The reason why they [SABC] can’t pay the workers now is because they don’t know how to run the business,” he told interviewer Sakina Kamwendo.
Motsoeneng said he had left the SABC’s finances in a healthy state and blamed the huge financial losses on the new guard.
After a long-running interview on Morning Live, the SABC was criticised for giving Motsoeneng air time.
“I’m all for giving what is newsworthy coverage & the SABC determining what is. But I do ask myself why continue to give platform to a man who is responsible for the SABC’s current financial crisis the platform to wax lyrical about himself,” DA MP Phumzile van Damme said on Twitter.
UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa tweeted: “Am I the only one who watched Sakina’s interview with Hlaudi and struggled to make sense of what he was trying to say in many instances?”
Other members of the public were equally baffled, judging by the reaction on Twitter.
Everything Hlaudi says doesnt make sense,his reasoning capacity is of 8year old #MorningLive— Napo Matlolane (@neipho) December 11, 2018
Here is the full statement from the SABC:
MEDIA STATEMENT | The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has noted concerns by members of the public, following an interview with the Corporation’s former Chief Operating Officer, Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng.— SABCPortal (@SABCPortal) December 11, 2018
For more info: https://t.co/bBgvIHfkzQ