Journalists who testified in SABC inquiry receive death threats

The chairperson of the hearings has told MPs he was informed about the threats late on Tuesday.

FILE: The SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Journalists who testified before Parliament’s inquiry into the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board's fitness for office on Monday have received death threats since testifying this week.

The chairperson of the hearings, Vincent Smith, has told Members of Parliament (MPs) he was informed about the threats late on Tuesday.

He says it is an assault on Parliament.

“Parliament must with one voice condemn any effort to subvert oversight and to subvert the deepening of democracy.”

United Democratic Movement MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa read out one of the threatening text messages and condemned the act of intimidation.

“One of the journalists shared a text message with me. I’d like to read it to this meeting and the people of South Africa. It says, ‘Traitors protecting your white friends in Parliament has started this and telling lies about your comrades. You were warned. We don’t kill blacks, but sit watch the blood flow.’”

Vuyo Mvoko, who testified on Monday alongside the SABC 8 and revealed that SABC money was used to build Gupta-owned TV channel ANN7, says he received the threat before 5pm on Tuesday.

MPs have strongly condemned the threats and want an update from police on their investigation into previous acts of intimidation and harassment against members of the SABC 8.

Meanwhile, Congress of the People’s Dennis Bloem says it's disturbing that journalists are getting these threats.

“Action must be taken against this continued intimidation. The minister of State Security David Mahlobo has all the technology to ensure they’re tracked down.”

To follow day six of the SABC board inquiry, click here.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)