SABC fired its head of news on Friday. Photo: File / Gallo Images

SABC fires head of news Phatiswa Magopeni over ‘breakdown in trust’

SABC’s head of news was fired with immediate effect on Friday. She has been given until Monday to return the broadcaster’s property.


SABC fired its head of news on Friday. Photo: File / Gallo Images

The SABC fired its head of news, Phathiswa Magopeni, with immediate effect on Friday, January 28. This comes after a disciplinary hearing found her guilty of misconduct and told the board to come up with its own “appropriate sanction.”


The disciplinary hearing, which preceded the dismissal, took place in December 2021. It was chaired by Advocate Nazeer Cassim who found Magopeni guilty of misconduct for failing to stop the broadcast, airing and publication of an interdicted Special Assignment episode, according to TimesLive.

A letter of dismissal, signed by SABC CEO Madoda, addressed to Magopeni surfaced online on Friday.

The disciplinary committee said Magopeni should be given the opportunity to submit mitigating factors to the SABC.

She opted not to. In a letter dated 27 January, Magopeni wrote “Given the incompetence of these proceedings, I am not legally obliged to provide any submissions in relation to mitigation, and my rights in this regard remain fully reserved.”

In the SABC’s letter of dismissal, the CEO took issue with Magopeni’s refusal to play ball.

“In the absence of your mitigating factors, the SABC finds that there is a breakdown in the trust relationship between you and the SABC…

“You are hereby notified that your services are terminated with effect from 28 January 2022,” wrote Madoda.

Magopeni was requested to return all SABC property in her possession to human resources by 12:00 on Monday, 31 January.

The SABC said Magopeni has the right to refer the matter to the CCMA or Labour Court. Magopeni indicated that she would do as much in her letter.

“I wish to record that I take issue with the chairperson’s findings and will in due course, challenge his findings at the appropriate time and forum.  Please note that my rights are fully reserved, including in respect of any unfair labour practices that I may be subjected to further,” she wrote.