The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Tuesday announced that it had decided to suspend three permanent employees and "unscheduled" a freelancer over the airing of the wrong clip of the president's address to the nation last week Thursday.
The corporation said the incident occurred at 6 pm when the SABC News Channel aired an incorrect clip of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pre-recorded address to the nation on The Full View programme.
(The clip was widely shared on social media)
"The SABC’s preliminary investigation into the incident has revealed that material for the 6 pm broadcast of the President’s pre-recorded address was prepared in good time to ensure a clean transmission," the statement said.
It said "unauthorised changes" were made without proper communication and the programme used the rehearsal clip from President Ramaphosa’s recorded address to the nation, instead of the final version.
"The SABC now has strong prima facie evidence indicating that the broadcast of the incorrect clip was a well-considered and co-ordinated act of sabotage to bring the SABC and consequently the president into disrepute," the statement said.
The employees who were involved in production activities at the time of the incident were given opportunity to make written representations as to why disciplinary steps should not be instituted against them.
The SABC has received the representations and, after due consideration, the corporation has decided to suspend three permanent employees and unscheduled one freelancer.
Due process will be followed. The second phase of the investigation into this incident is still underway.
-African News Agency