Calata the latest SABC journalist to face charges

Lukhanyo Calata
Lukhanyo Calata

Lukhanyo Calata became the seventh SABC journalist to be charged by the public broadcaster for contravening its rules in a space of less than two weeks.

Calata‚ the son of struggle activist Fort Calata who was killed by apartheid police in 1985‚ was charged on Monday following a letter he wrote last week questioning the direction the SABC was taking.

“The decisions taken recently by the SABC cannot be described in any other way but them being a curbing of media freedom. A freedom to report ethically‚ truthfully and without bias‚” his letter read.

Calata’s letter followed the resignation of Acting SABC CEO Jimi Matthews last Monday who said the “corrosive atmosphere” at the SABC had affected his moral judgement negatively.

Matthews resigned after three senior reporters were suspended on June 24.

 Economic editor Thandeka Gqubule‚ executive editor at Radio Sonder Grense Foeta Krige‚ and senior journalist Suna Venter were suspended last week after defying SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s orders not to cover an anti-censorship protest outside the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park.

Last week‚ executive producer of SAFM current affairs executive producer Krivani Pillay‚ executive producer of Special Assignment Busisiwe Ntuli and senior investigative reporter Jacques Steenkamp were charged with liaising with the media.

The three wrote a letter to Motsoeneng registering their displeasure over recent developments at the SABC.