Tue. May 28th, 2024

According to local reports, a leaked audio recording appeared to feature President Cyril Ramaphosa saying any negative media coverage of the ruling ANC party should be challenged.

After the clip surfaced, news brand City Press said SABC head of news Moshoeshoe Monare had complained about being contacted by the State Security Agency (SSA).

Mr Monare reportedly told SABC “insiders” that the SSA demanded he be vetted for a second time, a process which would involve the news executive taking a lie detector test.

Mr Monare said he refused to engage with the SSA’s recent request as a matter of editorial independence, City Press reported.

In a statement released on Monday, the president’s office said it must “provide the facts on the matter” “due to the grave nature of the claims that have been made and calls directed to the Presidency”.

Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said no one from the SSA had “recently” phoned Mr Monare to ask him to participate in a lie detector test.

Mr Magwenya said Mr Monare had indeed been invited for vetting in 2022 and that this is standard procedure for all SABC executives who are new in their role.

Mr Monare did not completed the vetting process as he did not want to take the required lie detector test, Mr Magwenya said.

In a statement released a day later, SABC broadly echoed the presidency’s statement.

“The SABC has no evidence to suggest that it is being targeted by the Presidency, nor any of its Group Executives as reported by the media,” the press release said.

Mr Monare was a chairperson at the South African National Editors Forum and worked at privately owned Arena Holdings before taking the top job at SABC News.

By Joy

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