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The SA Broadcasting Corporation in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday dismissed allegations that it practises favouritism in its newsroom.
Senior news staff in the region is up in arms after a print journalist was appointed to a television post.
They allege that current television journalists were denied the opportunity to go to the job interviews.
The new appointee allegedly gets a far bigger salary than those already in the newsroom despite having no television experience.
One journalist was allegedly told not to apply for the post because "Johannesburg has reserved the position for someone else".
The journalists claim they later found out that the job had been reserved for a print journalist from outside their newsroom.
"She was told by a senior manager that Johannesburg had someone else in mind for the position," a source said. "We were surprised a few days later when it emerged the position had been filled by a print journalist, who also happened to be the only one interviewed for the job.
"This has caused tension in our newsroom."
"There are other examples that make one realise that favouritism is being exercised in our newsroom."
Another employee in the Durban newsroom said: "When the new journalist had to file a story a manager asked the journalist he had denied an interview to do the story because the new journalist did not know how to."
Others staffers said it appeared to be common practice for print journalists to be employed for radio or television positions by their news bosses at the SABC.
"This has also happened in Johannesburg and elsewhere," another said. "It is a case of jobs for pals. People do not get appointed on merit."
SABC spokesman Ndabezinhle Sibiya said the journalist, Ayanda Mhlongo, had been employed on merit.
"Mhlongo was employed because she demonstrated the competencies and potential required for this position," he said.
Sibiya said the SABC had a policy of considering existing and more experienced staff and added that "there is no matter to be dealt with here. We employ competent candidates who demonstrate potential for the job."