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28 SABC employees served with notices to sack them

Image: Waldo Swiegers

The 28 SABC employees whose appointments are said to have been irregular were served with letters of the intention to have them fired yesterday.

The said employees were appointed by Hlaudi Motsoeneng during his reign as the broadcaster's COO without following due process and now the public broadcaster wants the Labour Court to declare their appointments invalid, unlawful and set aside.

“The SABC can confirm that it is in the process of serving the respective respondents with the application. Once this is complete, the organisation will lodge its application with the Labour Court, and the respondents will be afforded an opportunity to oppose the application by filing their Answering Affidavit,” SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu said.

SowetanLIVE understands that the Labour Court process – which was initially set down for today – was delayed following logistical issues around serving the affected employees with the letters.

A report into editorial interference found that there were several positions, including that of senior news management Nothando Maseko, Sebolelo Ditlhakanyane and Charles Matlou, that raised alarms and must be audited.

The report, released by lead investigator veteran journalist Joe Tlholoe, found that the erstwhile former chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng influenced the public broadcaster’s human resources department to either appoint, promote, dismiss and institute disciplinary hearings against employees. It recommended that these must be reviewed.

"The evidence shows that from the year 2012 till 2017, SABC executives took instructions from people with no authority in the newsroom, for example SABC board chairperson [Ellen Tshabalala] and the minister of communications [Faith Muthambi]."

"The executives thus failed to execute their duties in terms of editorial policies," Thloloe said in his report. Initially, the SABC had identified 31 people whose appointment’s must be reviewed but that number has since dropped to 28.

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