The inquiry disciplinary hearing into the conduct of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) News and Current Affairs head, Phathiswa Magopeni is continuing after her application to have the inquiry collapsed was dismissed.
Magopeni’s lawyer filed an application disputing the authority of the CEO to charge her, saying the powers lied with the board.
She also claims the board is divided on the hearing continuing.
The hearing also heard of alleged interference of the proceedings by the CEO of the corporation.
Magopeni has been charged with alleged negligence and bringing the public broadcaster into disrepute.
The matter relates to the airing of a Special Assignment episode the SABC had been interdicted from broadcasting.
Chair of the hearing, Advocate Nazeer Cassim says, “If the concept that the employee wants the matter to collapse, I don’t understand such a phenomenon in our law. She must now put her case and I make a finding on the facts.”
“In short, if the employee wants to challenge my authority to continue with this matter, if the employee believes she has the support by board members and if she believes that support somehow negates this hearing, which I don’t think it does, she is entitled to approach the courts.”
Disciplinary Hearing of SABC News Head, Phathiswa Magopeni:
Last week, Group Executive for SABC Legal Nthuthuzelo Vanara told the disciplinary hearing into the conduct of News Head that there was a concern that the newsroom was being used to fight commercial battles of the corporation.
Magopeni pleaded not guilty to all charges saying she complied with the court and that the decision to air the episode falls outside her jurisdiction.
Vanara said the episode contained an interview with a compromised source.
“Essentially, the complaint brought to my attention was that our colleagues in the newsroom were contemplating publishing a story with a compromised source. We were deposed to an affidavit confirming that he had lied to our colleagues. There was a concern that the newsroom was being utilised to fight commercial battles with the two parties.”