Inquiry finds SABC ‘crippled by pain, fear and anger’

Inquiry finds SABC ‘crippled by pain, fear and anger’

An independent inquiry has found that SABC executives took editorial instructions from former communications minister Faith Muthambi and members of the board.


Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile

The report into editorial interference between 2012 and 2017 at the public broadcaster was released on Monday. 


The inquiry was chaired by veteran journalist Joe Thloloe. 


"The commission found that the SABC suffered from capricious use of authority and power to terrorise staff and to deflect the cooperation from its mandate and editorial police. We found an organisation crippled by pain, anger, and faith. By frustration, anxiety, and apathy and by inattentiveness detachment and helplessness," he said. 


Journalists testified that Muthambi would demand they cover her government events and she would threaten to get them fired when they were late or failed to heed her demands. 

ALSO READ: Numsa: Fire Gordhan, remove Mabuza at Eskom


Former SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala is also named as one of the people who interfered with journalists, dictating what they should and should not cover. 


Thloloe said they found no direct link between decisions taken by the African National Congress (ANC) and the work of the SABC newsroom. However, they have reason to believe ANC officials hovered around the SABC's work. 


One of the committee's recommendations is for a news and current affairs advisory committee to be established consisting of a retired editor, a journalism ethics lecturer, and a retired judge.

Show's Stories