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'SABC employees are excited to be at work'

Hlaudi Motsoeneng says despite complaints by some staff members, there’s no revolt at the SABC.

SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng addresses staff in the meeting at which James Aguma was named acting CEO. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcasting Corporation(SABC) Chief Operations Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, says there is no revolt at the public broadcaster and he insists employees are excited and work continues as normal.

Today board chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe announced that James Aguma has been appointed as acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) afte r Jimi Matthews resigned yesterday.

It comes after three senior reporters wrote a letter to the COO, describing working conditions following a series of controversial policy decisions taken by Motsoeneng.

Three other SABC employees have been suspended for questioning policies which prohibit the airing of destruction of state property.

The SABC's COO says election coverage and all news will continue as normal.

He says employees are excited.

Motsoeneng says despite the resignation of Jimi Matthews and complaints by some staff members there's no revolt at the SABC.

He says he's seen the letter written by senior journalists who have raised concerns but he hasn't addressed it yet.

Earlier, Professor Maguvhe insisted the public broadcaster is not in crisis and commended Motsoeneng for doing what he called - "a sterling job".

LISTEN: EWN update on SABC urgent meeting

'INVESTORS STILL INTERESTED IN SABC'

At the same time, Motsoeneng says the public broadcaster is financially sustainable, and investors are interested.

He scoffed at suggestions that the SABC is censoring news content, saying the decision to stop showing visuals of protesters destroying state property doesn't mean the corporation isn't covering the relevant stories.

He also says those who have raised concerns about policy decisions do not reflect what sentiments of the majority.

"I don't even know how you can say there has been a revolt when SABC employees are excited; SABC employees are working. How can these people who are coughing, that the SABC is coughing? Who is coughing here?"

LISTEN: How healthy is the SABC, financially speaking?

MUTHAMBI SAYS MATTHEWS'S RESIGNATION IS 'SUSPECT'

Meanwhile, the communications ministry says its Minister, Faith Muthambi, believes the timing of Matthews's resignation as head of news is suspect.

She also says they have full confidence in the board of the SABC and that it believes normality will prevail.

Muthambi also says its unfortunate that Matthews decided to turn his resignation into a social media issue, without raising his concerns internally or speaking to her ministry.