Makoe skates on thin ice

HIS OWN MAN: Abbey Makoe. 16/01/08. © Sowetan.
HIS OWN MAN: Abbey Makoe. 16/01/08. © Sowetan.

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

SABC political editor Abbey Makoe could be forced to vacate his position.

Sowetan understands that Makoe's troubles stem from his independent views that he displayed throughout the ANC's succession battle that culminated in Jacob Zuma's election as ANC president. Sources have alleged that Makoe was appointed while he was in London in August last year with the hope that he would fit into the "thinking of the SABC and push forward the broader agenda" of the SABC management.

"I do not see him staying long in this position, he is too independent," said a source.

It is alleged that producers had been given verbal instructions not to use him to unpack political development.

"He was not used in Polokwane. The instruction was that nobody from politics should be used - and clearly they were referring to Abbey," said another source.

The source further said it became clear to Makoe's bosses that he would not fit into the system when he predicted that, based on the nomination list of ANC provinces, Jacob Zuma would be the next president.

"He ruffled a few feathers with his forthright assessment of the changing political landscape."

Makoe refused to comment when contacted by Sowetan yesterday. "Please speak to (SABC spokesman) Kaizer."

Kaizer Kganyago refused to comment.

The sidelining of people deemed undesirable at the SABC was exposed by Sowetan last year when several political commentators were banned.

Instructions were given to producers and presenters by head of news Snuki Zikalala not to use Business Day journalists Karima Brown and Vukani Mde, political analysts Aubrey Matshiqi and author of a book about President Mbeki, William Gumede.