Matthews resignation underlines media crisis

Jimi Matthews
Jimi Matthews

The shock resignation of the SABC’s acting Group CEO, Jimi Matthews, early on Monday, underlines the crisis state-owned media finds itself in.

In his resignation letter, that surfaced on social media, Matthews resigned as Acting Group CEO of the SABC stating that “what is happening at the SABC is wrong” and that he “can no longer be part of it”.

The CEO of Pretoria FM, Willie Spies reacted in a statement saying that Matthews’ resignation is only the latest shock in a series of developments that emphasise the predicament journalists with integrity, working for state-controlled media, find themselves in.

Matthews suspension follows the suspension on Friday of three journalists including the Afrikaans broadcaster RSG’s Foeta Krige and Suna Venter and reports of the termination of programs such as Editors on SAFM and Kommentaar on RSG.

“The time has come for independent media institutions such as commercial and community media, to join hands in support of besieged journalists working for the SABC.  It is in times like these that we need to show the power of strong communities and institutions can outweigh the tyranny of a failing state”, Spies said.

Pretoria FM is a community radio station based in Pretoria with a nationwide network of affiliated community stations.