The SABC does damage control after blocking former news boss

The SABC's Twitter account first blocked – then unblocked – former head of news, Phathiswa Magopeni.

The SABC is doing damage control by unblocking their former Group executive, Phathiswa Magopeni, after blocking her on Twitter last night.

The former SABC boss shared a screenshot of the Twitter action on the platform, along with the caption: “Public news service”.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the SABC denied any policy authorisation by their employees to block any user from the SABC News Twitter page.

“The SABC wishes to state for the record that it has not issued any directive to block Ms Magopeni from its platforms.

“Upon learning of this unfortunate incident, the cooperation immediately unblocked its former employee,” read the statement.

The news broadcaster said they reached out to Magopeni to explain the circumstances surrounding the matter and have apologised for the “unfortunate incident”.

“The matter is currently under investigation as this account is managed by multiple individuals within the News Division.

“Following the investigation, the SABC will institute the consequence management process as this conduct is contrary to its policies,” read the statement.

SABC fired Magopeni

The scrutiny comes after Magopeni was fired with immediate effect by the SABC after being found guilty of misconduct.

In December 2021, Magopeni failed to stop the broadcast of an interdicted episode of the SABC’s current affairs programme, Special Assignment.

She was found guilty in an internal disciplinary hearing headed by Advocate Nazir Cassim of failing to discharge her fiduciary duties, and bringing the public broadcaster into disrepute.

Cassim recommended she be given a warning and for the broadcaster to give her a chance to distance herself from the remarks, and to submit her mitigating factors of which she failed to do.

In an official letter to Magopeni, the CEO of SABC Madoda Mxakwe wrote:

“You are kindly requested to hand in all SABC property in your possession to the office of the Group Executive: Human Resources by 12pm on 31 January 2022.”

Additional reporting by Siyanda Ndlovu

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