The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has said the recent broadcast of an incorrect clip of President Cyril Ramaphosa was “an act of sabotage.”
SABC revealed this in a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon.
It said the production team received both the rehearsal clip and the final version of Ramaphosa’s address.
The production team was subsequently alerted in advance to ignore the rehearsal version. However, it was still played briefly.
The SABC now has strong prima facie evidence indicating that the broadcast of the incorrect clip was a well-considered and coordinated act of sabotage to bring the SABC and consequently the president into disrepute.SABC
The state broadcaster has now suspended three permanent employees and one freelancer.
The employees had earlier made written representations as to why disciplinary action shouldn’t be taken against them, but were unsuccessful.
SABC said it will not tolerate any acts aimed at bringing it into disrepute or derailing its efforts to address “systemic problems” plaguing it.
On 6 September, SABC apologised to Ramaphosa for any “embarrassment” it caused him by playing the incorrect clip.
The clip was played on SABC News TV channel on 5 September and showed Ramaphosa making a mistake and the restarting his address.
Upon realising his mistake, Ramaphosa waved his hand and said, “Let’s start again. I made a mistake there.”
SABC cut short the address and played the correct version a little while later.