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11 Apr 2008 14:41
Abbey Makoe, political editor at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), has resigned from the public broadcaster, it said on Friday.
Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said Makoe would leave the organisation at the end of April.
This follows the resignation of other SABC journalists such as Jeremy Maggs, Lebo Monnamogolo and Sumitra Nydoo, who resigned to work for some of the new players in the media environment.
Makoe said: “I am very sad to leave the SABC. Of all the media institutions for which I have worked, I found the SABC the most transformed and progressive.
“I have enjoyed every minute of my stay here, despite the numerous challenges that go with working for Africa’s biggest public broadcaster as a political editor.”
SABC editor Snuki Zikalala said that as the broadcasting media environment becomes more competitive, key SABC personnel are being targeted by both new and existing competitors.
“Our journalists are well trained and the SABC becomes a natural target for those players who are looking for good, strong editorial staff,” he said.
Makoe also heads the Forum of Black Journalists (FBJ).
Both he and the FBJ have been under attack in recent weeks following the forum’s decision to refuse white journalists entry to an FBJ briefing by African National Congress president Jacob Zuma in February.
This week the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) ruled that this policy of race exclusivity was “unconstitutional”.
On Wednesday, the SAHRC said that claims by made Makoe were “mischievous” and “untruthful”.
Makoe, in remarks following the SAHRC finding on Tuesday that the FBJ’s blacks-only membership policy was unconstitutional, said the FBJ only heard that it was going to be “banned” last Friday and that the finding amounted to a “judicial ambush”.
In a statement, the SAHRC said the FBJ had been given sufficient opportunity to respond to complaints that it excluded some members of the media from the function with Zuma based solely on race.
It said Makoe had “conveniently omitted” to share with the public that the SAHRC had written to him on March 4, requesting a response by March 18. When no response was received, it wrote to him again on March 17, and again received no reply.
“Clearly, it stands to reason that Mr Makoe and his organisation were indeed given sufficient opportunity to respond to the complaint against them.”—Sapa
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