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SABC head of news Phathiswa Magopeni shown the door

SABC has fired its head of news Phathiswa Magopeni. File photo.
SABC has fired its head of news Phathiswa Magopeni. File photo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

The SABC has fired its group executive of news and current affairs, Phathiswa Magopeni, with effect from Friday.

“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 January 31,” read a letter sent by SABC group CEO Madoda Mxakwe to Magopeni.

TimesLIVE has approached the SABC for comment, and this story will be updated.

Magopeni’s dismissal follows a disciplinary hearing which last month found her guilty of misconduct for failing to prevent the broadcast, airing and publication of an interdicted Special Assignment episode.

Disciplinary hearing chair Nazeer Cassim recommended that she be given a warning. Cassim said in the heads of argument prepared on behalf of Magopeni it was asserted that “the charges brought against the employee are a farce and done so hastily”.

Cassim said the board of the SABC must give Magopeni the opportunity to distance herself from that phrase as it would be unjust to punish her for a submission and opinion of her attorney.

“If, however, Ms Magopeni makes common cause with the view of her attorney, then the board must in its discretion and decision-making power adopt a sanction which is consistent with that of a breakdown in the trust relationship between employer and employee.

“In short, it is now upon Ms Magopeni to decide her own future with the SABC,” Cassim said.

In a letter to Magopeni on Friday, Mxakwe said she was afforded, in line with the rule of natural justice, an opportunity to submit mitigating factors for the SABC’s consideration.

“After several requests for extensions, on January 27, instead of taking up the opportunity to submit your mitigating factors and distance yourself from the remarks in, amongst other things, the heads of argument submitted on your behalf, you elected not to submit your mitigating factors. You have thus waived your right to do so,” Mxakwe said.

Mxakwe said the SABC had provided aggravating factors for her to address and invited her to provide her mitigating factors.

He said in the absence of her mitigating factors, the SABC finds there is a breakdown in the trust relationship.



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