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SABC probes Polokwane newsroom’s coverage of VBS saga

The SABC says should the probe reveal evidence that its editorial code has been compromised, the necessary steps will be taken.

VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says its investigating possible breaches in its editorial code at the Polokwane newsroom over the coverage of the looting of the VBS Mutual Bank.

In a statement released on Saturday morning, the public broadcaster says the decision is in line with its ongoing efforts to ensure that its news editorial principles of independence and impartiality are upheld at all times.

The SABC says should the probe reveal evidence that its editorial code has been compromised, the necessary steps will be taken.

SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu says: “Any selective coverage perceived or real, poses a real danger to the editorial character of the SABC News brand and therefore any interference, external or internal in our editorial decision making will not be tolerated.”

The statement adds that the public broadcaster remains committed to providing South Africans with news content that is accurate and balanced, and in a way that is responsible, transparent and unrestrained.

The South African Reserve Bank released its report over a week ago, titled The Great Bank Heist, which implicated more than 50 individuals and companies who collectively looted close to R2 billion from the bank.

Below are names of people named in the report:

Vele and its associates R936 669 111 – majority shareholder in VBS

Tshifhiwa Matodzi R325 896 831 – chairman of VBS and Vele

Free State Development Corporation R104 130 932

Kabelo Matsepe R35 400 105 – former Limpopo ANCYL leader/director: Moshate Investment Group

Sipho Malaba R33 978 379 – former KPMG partner

Phophi Mukhodobwane R30 572 296 – VBS general head of treasury and capital management

Paul Makhavu R30 461 788 – attorney, Venda king’s advisor

Robert Madzonga R30 372 282 – Vele investments chief executive

Andile Ramavhunga R28 925 934 – VBS chief executive

Solly Maposa R24 441 877 – VBS retail managing director

Ralliom Razwinane R24 224 198 – director, Gundo Wealth Solutions/ANC connected

Firmanox R17 748 384

The Venda king, Toni Mphephu R17 729 758 – Venda King

Ndivhuwo Khangale R16 830 091 – VBS / Vele spokesperson

Sechaba Serote R16 653 458 - businessman

Ernest Nesane R16 646 086 – former PIC head of legal

Brian Shivambu R16 148 569 – allegedly EFF Floyd Shivambu’s brother

Paul Magula R14 818 098 – former PIC head of risk and compliance

Charl Cilliers R12 683 947 – CA, Insure Group chief executive

Tiisang Private Capital R12 489 230

Maanda Manyatshe R11 279 242 – Vele Investments chairman, former MTN boss

Sasa Nemabubuni R9 169 288 – VBS sales general manager

Sabicorp R8 453 585

Avashoni Ramikosi R5 972 288 – VBS non-executive director / former SAPS CFO

Takalani Mmbi R4 404 178 – Brilliantel finance and admin manager

Phillip Tshililo R2 039 990 – Matodzi personal assistant.

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