TV news presenter Palesa Chubisi was among 13 SABC employees to become the casualty of the public protector’s report on the SABC’s shenanigans after she was allegedly fired while on air on Monday.
The corporation confirmed on Monday night that 13 workers had received letters stating the readjustment of their employment status with the broadcaster.
“The SABC can confirm that 13 employees were served with letters outlining the corporation’s decision with regard to their circumstances relating to irregular appointments. The SABC embarked on an investigation which was concluded in June, 2020, affecting employees who were appointed/promoted and/or received salary adjustments unlawfully and irregularly. The SABC believes these employees benefited through a process which denied other colleagues equitable and fair access to compete for appointments and promotions.
“It must be noted that the SABC leadership has an obligation to do the right thing and not to condone unethical practices,” SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said.
Chubisi’s axing comes after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s June report on the allegations of an irregularity in filling the position of producer/presenter for the broadcaster’s morning news show, Morning Live. Chubisi is also the presenter of Leihlo la Sechaba and co-host of SA Today.
In the report, the complainant stated that in April, 2016, the SABC appointed Chubisi permanently in the position without following and adhering to recruitment procedures and prescripts that were applicable at the time. She was preferred and appointed ahead of other candidates who were suitably qualified and experienced for the position.
The appointment was described as amounting to maladministration and impropriety. In her findings, Mkhwebane said the SABC failed to advertise the vacant position as required by its recruitment policy.
She found that the appointment of Chubisi violated section 186(2) of the LRA, and 26(1) of the Broadcasting Act as well as Part b and Part d1 of the SABC recruitment policy.
Mkhwebane’s remedial action was for the group chief executive of the SABC to take steps within 30 days of receipt of the report to either confirm the appointment was in line with the recruitment process or to place her in a position in line with her level within the SABC. Alternatively, Mkhwebane said the SABC could migrate Chubisi to the producer/presenter position she previously held at Lesedi FM.
The public protector added that within 60 days of receiving the report the SABC needed to train and educate its employees on adherence and compliance with its policies.
In an internal communication email sent to all SABC employees, which The Star has seen, the outcome of the report and the announcement made by the board in February was discussed.
“All those who were appointed/ promoted and/or received salary adjustments unlawfully and irregularly, have received letters today (Monday), outlining the corporation’s decision with regard to their circumstances. It must be noted that all the above are those who benefited through a process which denied other colleagues equitable and fair access to compete for appointments and promotions.”
“‘There is a second group which will be finalised before the end of this calendar year.
“We hope to bring this process to finality and afford the corporation greater focus on its culture renewal process, which is to build on our values, particularly integrity.”