Jimi Matthews and Hlaudi Motsoeneng were part of the political dirty work started in 2008 – COPE

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Congess of the People will only accept Jimi Matthews’ apology after he makes a full and unfettered disclosure of how he and his colleagues plotted to kill off Cope by denying Mosiuoa Lekota coverage after he resigned from the ANC. He must begin with what happened in 2008. Doing the same to destroy the EFF is the second part of the story. He and Hlaudi Motsoeneng were part of the dirty work started in 2008. Let 2016 be the end of SABC dirty tricks, conspiracy and censorship.

Democracy knows no other master than the people it serves. Autocracy, on the other hand, serves only the autocrats to the total detriment of the people and of truth. The rapidly advancing ANC autocracy has caused political, fiscal and media space in South Africa to narrow at an alarming rate. Today, under the ruling party, democracy is wilting; the economy is shrivelling and freedom of expression is waning. The mirror has cracked from side to side.

It is common cause that Jimi Matthews blotted his copybook by being part of those who conspired to turn the public broadcaster into an instrument of propaganda for the ruling party. COPE suffered at his hands and at the hands of his fellow colluders and conspirators at the SABC. I spoke to him on numerous occasions about the negativity in reports concerning our party. Nothing happened.

We were forced to protest against the SABC management. We repeatedly condemned what Motsoeneng was doing and spoke out against his remaining in office in contempt of a court order. All this while, the ruling party remained complicit, uncaring and unapologetic.

Even so, we have to recognise that Jimi Matthew’s decision to quit the SABC and to open the can of worms is very significant and very important. His forthright disclosure on ENCA that Luthuli House has been actively orchestrating editorial decisions, marks a watershed moment. ANC denials have been stripped of all value. The ANC has been exposed. The reason for the ANC appointing a found-out liar with no book learning to the top position now becomes clearer than ever before. Motsoeneng is his masters’ voice and his masters’ minion doing his masters’ dirty work.

Jimi Matthews must take the bull by the horns and disclose everything in the spirit of open mea culpa to redeem himself and protect his legacy. He knows more than most. He must therefore lay bare the full scale of the conspiracy within the SABC that attacked the Constitution and started to immolate our democracy.

If he does that, he will have spoken the truth and set himself free.

It is also good that Derek Hanekom and Tito Mboweni found the courage to speak out against censorship. They too seriously damaged their own legacies for not speaking out sooner. Now that they have also spoken out, there is no turning back for them. They must go the full distance and attack the rot that is occurring in the SABC.

Issued by COPE

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