NEWS & ANALYSIS

Why did SABC appoint Dumisani Hlophe as Political Editor? - Phumzile Van Damme

DA MP says "political analyst" lacks journalistic experience, has exhibited anti-DA bias

Dumisani Hlophe a puzzling choice as SABC Political Editor

Note to Editors: Please find attached a soundbite in English by DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) decision to appoint Dumisani Hlophe as its Political Editor: News and Current Affairs is deeply puzzling and worrying.

Mr. Hlophe is not a practicing journalist, his only experience with broadcasting is as a “political analyst” on the SABC with “commentary” often odd and thumb-sucked.

There are many talented practicing journalists the SABC could have chosen from, who would have been a far better choice.

Mr. Hlophe does not inspire confidence at all. He is bad news.

Based on his Twitter account, Hlophe appears to be a patriarch with tweets proclaiming men as heads of the family and commenting on photos of half-naked women.

He also seems to have a special loathing for the DA with tweets like:

“The irony is: whilst @MYANC is keen to demilitarize and weaken the Left; it always leaves the Right to strengthen itself. It castrated @_cosatu;  @SACP1921 and now targets @EFFSouthAfrica nut it has no plan to weaken the right wing agenda led by @Our_DA”

“Where are the DA Headquarters? I am in Cape Town and I want to march there and demand the reintegration of Cape Town into South Africa.”

"Maimane to stand for DA's parliamentary leader". Another darkie Zille project. Just where society will see a fake de racialised DA”

“The media dubs criticism of Thuli Madonsela as an "attack on the Public Protector" - interesting indeed. I think she is soft on the DA”

He also seems to have a dislike for what he refers to as the “liberal media”:

“@pinkykhoabane in the quest to be ANC critic, the media overlapped to be an addition to ANC opposition. Hence, they contain DA journalists”

“The mainstream liberal media is a key player in South Africa’s politics. It is not an independent observer.”

“No Bruce. That’s a mere bourgeoisie spin. Absolute liberal self-serving propaganda. The fact is: this shows a clear collusion between senior politicians in public office and business sector in advancing their mutual interests.”

We truly hope Mr Hlophe will prove our misgivings about him wrong and fulfil the SABC’s mandate to be impartial, independent and provide a reasonable, balanced opportunity for the public to receive a variety of points of view on matters of public concern, especially during an election year.

His appointment is a step backwards for the SABC, and is discouraging given the excellent appointments it has made of late.

Statement issued by Phumzile Van Damme MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, 2 September 2018