‘Powers that be got JJ Tabane fired at SABC'

JJ Tabane's Frankly Speaking show was canned last month.
JJ Tabane's Frankly Speaking show was canned last month.

A former producer of JJ Tabane's canned show, Frankly Speaking, says the SABC bowed to political pressure to end the programme.

Lebo Keswa, one of the producers of the show that was aired on SABC3 on Sundays, claimed the show was ended due to interference.

Yesterday, the public broadcaster announced that seasoned radio presenter and columnist Redi Tlhabi would host a new current affairs talk show, Unfiltered, on the same slot from this Sunday. Frankly Speaking ended last month.

Tabane's show was allegedly ended due to nonperformance. However, Keswa said it was "performing well".

Although SABC3 allegedly said the programme was not carrying contesting content for its viewers, Keswa said the opposite was in fact true.

She said audience ratings (ARs) for the main evening news during 2017 before the show was introduced stood at only 0.32%. She said the show significantly boosted the channel's ratings.

However, from the time Frankly Speaking was broadcast in February, "on the elbow slot before the news at 9pm, the ARs increased to 0.69%, indicating the attraction of an interesting show".

"The ARs of that show shows that more than 25% of all total viewers of the SABC3 watch the show, and close to half watch the repeat of that show that broadcast on Friday afternoons," she said.

SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu said: "SABC News is an independent and impartial news platform. In addition, the SABC is conscious and attentive to the prescripts of the SABC Charter, which governs the programming decisions.

"It is in this spirit that editorial staff continues to make programming and editorial decisions that are free from any form of interference."

The broadcaster said Unfiltered will tackle a broad spectrum of issues affecting South Africans, including crime, corruption, education, politics as well as community and social issues.

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