SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has scoffed at suggestions that the public broadcaster is engaging in censorship, saying censorship is an English concept, so he “doesn’t know it”.
Speaking at a media briefing at the SABC’s Johannesburg head office in Auckland Park, Motsoeneng took to the microphone to deliver a customary diatribe against his detractors.
“I don’t even know what censorship is,” an exasperated Hlaudi Motsoeneng said.
“What is this censorship thing? It is English so I don’t know it. There is no censorship here,” he declared.
The broadcaster’s spokesman, Kaizer Kganyago, led the proceedings, and confirmed the news that former SABC chief financial officer, James Aguma, would take the role of acting group CEO following Jimi Matthews’ resignation.
SABC board chairman Obert Maguvhe also addressed the media, and rejected accusations that the SABC newsroom was “in revolt”.
Motsoeneng also addressed questions that the broadcaster was losing money, accusations of scaring off investors, and the print media’s “outcry” over the ban of reading newspaper headlines on air.
Speaking with emphasis, he said: “The question is, are we sustainable?
“We are not a profit company, you see. For us, what is important is to cater for audience, to cater for local content, dramas and so on. That is part of the mandate.
“Yes, we are more than financially sustainable.”
He then grunted something inaudible about “90% versus 10%”, in a deeper than usual voice to further emphasise his belief.
“Investors need SABC, because we have more audience,” he continued, in response to another question.
“We have audience who chow most of the revenue.
“We have a good relationship with investors. We engage our listeners. So sit in your corner, we will do what we do best. But we can’t allow print media [to object].
“Actually you people tell us ‘print media should follow you because you have all these resources. We want you to know that print media follows you’. You as print media, follow the SABC. We are going to change the newsroom the way it is.”