A statement by the FJT leadership described Matthews’ resignation as acting group CEO at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as “long overdue”.
It added that it “represents the lowest levels of questionable editorial decision-making that Matthews is as much culpable for allowing himself to have been part of in the first place‚ at the behest of current COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng”.
“Matthews has previously been complicit in conveying Motsoeneng’s arbitrary and illogical editorial instructions on staff and consequent victimisation of those that disagreed with him‚” the statement said.
“Suspended economics editor Thandeka Gqubule‚ executive producer Foeta Krige and journalist Suna Venter are just the latest examples in the ending list of victimisation. The FJT calls for their immediate reinstatement.”
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The forum said that “contrary to attempts to portray himself as a hero…Matthews abandoned the ship to save his own skin and present himself as a principled person”.
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“By all accounts‚ he has been Motsoeneng’s lap dog since the young dictator usurped power‚ allowing himself to be used as the SABC COO’s willing enforcer-in-chief‚” it added.
“He was happy to keep his cushy job and lucrative salary for years in exchange for his silence. How convenient that he now wants to be viewed as a hero?
“Matthews said and did nothing when Motsoeneng ran amok for years‚ destroying many careers‚ undermining journalistic integrity and imposing censorship.”