DA, Cope to write to Parliament over sacking of SABC news head, Magopeni

Former SABC head of news Phathiswa Magopeni was fired from her position on Friday by the public broadcaster, who cited a breakdown of trust.

FILE: SABC head of news and current affairs Pathiswa Magopeni. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Political parties say they will be writing to Parliament's portfolio committee on Communications to demand an urgent meeting regarding former SABC head of news Phathiswa Magopeni's dismissal.

Magopeni is reportedly set to legally challenge the SABC's decision.

She was fired from her position on Friday by the public broadcaster, citing a breakdown of trust.

A disciplinary hearing last year had found Magopeni guilty of misconduct after she allegedly failed to ensure that an interdicted Special Assignment programme was not aired.

The ousted head of news had claimed that the disciplinary action against her was a result of political interference after the African National Congress (ANC)'s Fikile Mbalula blamed the public broadcaster for the party's dismal performance in the elections.

Both the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Congress of the People (Cope) said that they would be writing to Parliament's chairperson of the portfolio committee on Communications, Boyce Maneli, to investigate the claims of editorial and political interference in the newsroom.

Cope's spokesperson, Dennis Bloem: "It is very clear that the SABC wants to recapture the SABC newsroom. We must never allow political meddling in the SABC newsroom again. The SABC is a public broadcaster, not an ANC mouthpiece."