South African Broadcaster Says 4 Employees Sabotaged Airing of Ramaphosa Speech

The South African Broadcasting Corporation has suspended three employees and given notice to a freelancer for their alleged involvement in an act of sabotage by airing the wrong address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 5 September in an attempt to discredit him and the SABC, the broadcaster has said.

Photo: Twitter/SABCPortal

“The SABC now has strong prima facie evidence indicating that the broadcast of the incorrect clip was a well-considered and coordinated act of sabotage to bring the SABC and consequently the President into disrepute,” according to a statement released by the CEO’s office.

The SABC said that two recordings had been sent through from parliament on 5 September, a rehearsal clip and the final clip, with strict instructions that only the final clip should be used.

After the incident, four individuals were identified – three fulltime employees and one freelancer – and were given the chance to give written evidence. Having received that the SABC decided to suspend the three and “unschedule” the freelancer.

The SABC earlier apologised to Ramaphosa about the mixup. In his speech about gender-based violence and xenophobia, Ramaphosa had made a mistake early on and asked to start over.