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SABC sets up inquiry into sexual harassment, editorial interference

The SABC says it has taken the decision off the back of recommendations from the ad hoc committee that was established to deal with all instances of unlawful conduct.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The SABC has announced it’s set up two commissions of inquiry into sexual harassment and editorial interference at the public broadcaster.

The public broadcaster made the announcement on Thursday afternoon at a briefing in Auckland Park.

The SABC says it has taken the decision off the back of recommendations from the ad hoc committee that was established to deal with all instances of unlawful conduct.

Acting group CEO Nomsa Philiso said: “What’s important for us is to learn the lessons and also to see how we can future-proof our newsroom in order to make sure that the mistakes of the past do not happen again.”

The corporation says it’s returning to its constitutional mandate where the rights and dignity of its employees are respected and restored.

Philiso says the broadcaster will also ensure its Wellness Department is on board.

“We’re going to have a pre- and post-counselling session at the hearings because we believe that that’s the kind of support that we should be providing. We’re also going to make sure that this is extended to our regional staff members, who will then come to Johannesburg to give their testimony.”

COMMISSIONS

The SABC says people will be called in from 1 July to give information about alleged sexual harassment and editorial interference.

The public broadcaster is hoping to have a draft report ready on 8 August which can then be made public.

Philiso says they’re now finalising chairpersons for these commissions.

“[We] Assure absolute confidentiality, especially on this issue, because we recognise that part of the reasons why people don’t take it [sexual harassment] seriously is the stigma around it or lack of trust in the system. We’d like to assure our staff and everybody else that we’re taking this process seriously.”

(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)