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EXCLUSIVE: Axed SABC journalist speaks out

 Former SABC Limpopo TV reporter Kgaogelo Magolego says he is not surprised at Communications Minister Faith Muthambi’s version of events that led to him losing his job.

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Muthambi on Wednesday told parliament’s ad hoc committee on Communication that her encounter with the reporter in 2015 was brief – and that she told him that his questions around digital migration was out of place at the Imbizo that day. 

 

“It was a cabinet Imbizo outreach programme. When this journalist approached asking me for an interview on the digital migration programme, I told him we are not here for DTT but we are here to launch the Imbizo focus week. If you want information talk to my MLO, that is where it ended. I have proof to that effect” she said.

 

The Sunday Times wrote an article about this encounter. 


Magolego was suspended, then fired in February this year, after a disciplinary hearing was held. 


His case is now with the CCMA. 


Magolego says he went to the event – with a specific brief from his editor, and followed it perfectly, but was then fired for doing that. 


He says at some stage he was also accused of leaking information to other parties. 


Magolego believes that Muthambi was economical with the truth when she told parliamentarians about what happened on the day in question and her limited knowledge of what transpired afterwards. 


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“A week after the incident in 2015, I was called into the office. I was accused of allegedly leaking information of my suspension to the Sunday Times” he says.


He says the CCMA case has been dragging on. 


“When this incident happened, I was about the leave my journalism career and pursue other things. But I didn’t want to be remembered as a journalist that was fired. But my life is on hold, I cannot do business with anyone because there is a cloud over my head. Right now I am knocking on doors to see if there is anyone who can represent me on a pro-bono basis. I do not have a legal representative at the moment, I am conducting my own defense” he says.


Magolego says if reporters and others within the SABC spoke out sooner, a lot of the pain faced today could have been prevented.


“There are a number of ridiculous events that were not supposed to be on the news, but we covered them because we had been ordered to do so. If we had made awareness of this earlier, maybe we wouldn’t be here” he says.


Magolego says some of the events that have taken place at the SABC will need criminal investigation and a further inquiry. 


Edited by Faith Daniels 

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