Another top SABC journalist quits: “I could no longer keep quiet”

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SABC 2 news reader and journalist, Ivor Price, is the latest employee to resign from the public broadcaster citing the oppressive environment employees have to work in.

Price announced his resignation on Netwerk24, saying his conscience no longer allowed him to carry on working at the SABC.

In a detailed timeline dating back to 2013, Price describes some of his highlights while performing his duties and the circumstances that gradually lead him to his decision to resign.

Price made his debut as a newsreader on the SABC DStv news channel on 2nd August 2013. He described it as landing in a hot seat, seeing as he was sitting in the same chair as legendary retired Afrikaans newsreader, Riaan Cruywagen.

Fast forward to May 2016, shortly after the SABC announced it would no longer show footage of the destruction of public property during protests, and Price no longer enjoyed “waking up in the mornings to go to work”, he said.

“It feels as though dark clouds are begin to gather. The Afrikaans news environment had always been safe and carefree, but we’re increasingly getting the impression that we’re being monitored,” Price reflected on the period.

According to Price, journalist, Tim du Plessis and former SABC employee, Franz Kruger were at the SABC studios, speaking to Price, and they happened to not agree with the protest footage ban.

SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, was meant to join du Plessis and Kruger on air to talk about the ban, but could no longer make it. Price mentioned this on air, much to the ire of Motsoeneng, who called Price on his mobile and told him he would “face the music”.

Price went on to highlight a series of events he witnessed thereafter, including the suspension of three of his colleagues and the resignation of acting CEO, Jimi Matthews.

By the time the ANC held a media briefing on 5th July to lambast the SABC on what it said was unconstitutional conduct, Price had already decided to resign and the briefing was not enough to convince him otherwise.

“Things are going to change, things have to change,” he said. “Motsoeneng’s poisonous tentacles are by this time already all over the public broadcaster.”

Yesterday, Price received news on his mobile that the first four of the SABC 8 had been fired, and with this, he decided he couldn’t keep quiet any longer.

Price’s last day as an SABC employee will be 5th August 2016.

Read the full statement on Netwerk24.