SABC says it engages spooks on 'key issues'

The SABC building in Auckland Park on August 05, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The SABC building in Auckland Park on August 05, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Veli Nhlapo

The SABC has confirmed it has engaged State Security Agency (SSA) on a number of "key issues relating to the public broadcaster".

These included the leaking of confidential company information to third parties and the media.

This comes after the Sunday Times reported that the SABC board had asked spooks to spy on its staff, to track down the person who leaks information to third parties and the media.

However, the public broadcaster said no such decision had been taken.

"The SABC engages with the SSA on a number of key issues relating to the public broadcaster, and one of them was to deal with the disclosure of confidential company information to third parties and the media," said SABC acting spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo.

"The mere fact that the Sunday Times is in possession of confidential board minutes, and quotes its contents, is indicative there is a problem that needs to be dealt with.

"Whether the SABC engages with the SSA or private security experts, it remains entitled to investigate breaches of confidentiality, and to protection of its information."

According to the Sunday Times, minutes from a board meeting revealed the proposal was made by SABC board member Mary Papayya.

But the SABC has slammed the report attributing a board decision to Papayya as "unfair and misleading".

"The SABC has witnessed several disclosures of confidential company information in the past year," Seapolelo said.

"We are no different from any other company in South Africa which would seek to protect the confidentiality of its lawful discussions and activities. In protecting the public broadcaster, the SABC will always act within the ambit of the law."

SABC has also responded to criticism of its decision by the labour and freedom of expression groups.

"The SABC fully champions the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy for all its employees," said Seapolelo .

"There are no efforts by the SABC leadership to compromise these two important rights.

"The board has in the past taken a decision that no journalist should be subject to SSA processes of any kind in order to protect the constitutional rights of the media."

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X