Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Consultation in respect of SABC turnaround

BEMAWU members should note that, contrary to what Mr. Nicholson, the acting GCEO has stated in today’s communication, we were NOT consulted in respect of the so-called turnaround strategy. I was involved in a CCMA matter and the rest of the BEMAWU National Structure not available at such short notice.

We have reserved our rights.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Media statement on SABC Board


BEMAWU is calling on the President, Mr. Zuma and the Communications Portfolio Committee to act responsible and with the utmost urgency to remove the Chairperson of the SABC Board, Dr. Ben Ngubane for inter alia the following reasons:
His inability to perform his role as chairperson of the Board due to the total breakdown of trust and working relationship between him and the rest of the Board,

His demonstrated inability to carry out simple administrative functions like preparing documents for a meeting with an important body like the Portfolio Committee, appointed by Parliament to oversee the public broadcaster,

His failure to sign the delegation of authority letter to enable Robin Nicholson to properly manage the SABC in his acting capacity, and by doing so putting the SABC at severe risk by rendering all decision making on the highest level inoperative, which will have an effect on the SABC to meet it’s mandate in terms of programming and repayment of its loan,

This not only puts the SABC as an organisation at risk, but also our members, as they will be targeted first for retrenchments if the SABC cannot obtain another loan to meet its financial responsibilities.

His admission that he failed to produce a performance review. Our members are disciplined and dismissed for similar offence.

The Portfolio Committee’s admission that there is not much room for optimism about the affairs of the corporation, and it’s accurate observation that the board has failed to provide coherent leadership and to provide proper corporate governance over the SABC, for which Dr. Ngubane must take accountability.
The Board has failed to report, for which Dr Ngubane must be held accountable. It is a serious dereliction of duties. It shows disrespect for parliament and the people. He had sufficient notice to prepare, but failed. It is clear that by failing to sign an operational procedure like delegation of authority and failing to prepare for a meeting with his superiors, the portfolio committee,  the chairperson of the board is obstructing progress and the ability of the SABC to meet its mandate.
Although Mr. Nicholson may not be the favourite to appoint as the acting GCEO, there is no prohibition in statue or regulation against his appointment as such and it is only in an acting capacity.
According to the portfolio committee, the board has failed. We know what the problem is. If a board cannot trust its chairman, he must be removed. It is important, and more so in the SABC’s situation that the Board must be united and functional. They are not. It’s divided between Dr. Ngubane the rest.  
How can a board not be able to agree? Surely they have processes to follow if there is no agreement. Normally the majority rules, so why not at the SABC? It is unthinkable and unacceptable that the chairperson of one of the most important and influential boards in this country are telling parliament and the people they are unable to make decisions because the board cannot agree. It shows serious lack of ability to steer the public broadcaster. If the majority of the board agreed Nicholson should be appointed, Dr. Ngubane must sign, or he is in breach of corporate governance. If the majority of the board voted against his appointment, Nicholson cannot be appointed. Unless there is external influence, it should be a fairly simple exercise.
We do not understand why board members who have resigned were barred from participating in the meeting. They are serving notice and despite their resignations being accepted, they remain legally and otherwise members of the board until the end of their notice period.
With the precarious financial situation of the SABC the most urgent intervention is necessary. Failing to do so would make the overseers as guilty of breach of corporate governance as the board. Should the President and the portfolio committee not immediately removes the chairperson, the SABC will be seriously compromised. With its precarious financial position and the anticipated failure to meet its obligations, the SABC will have to pay cash for programs and other capital-intensive projects. It will simply not be able to broadcast soon, as they will not have the cash to trade .

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

SABC - What financial crisis?

Yesterday I attended a CCMA Arbitration re an unfair labour practice.  One of our members employed in the Employee Relations Department of the SABC have been severely harassed and victimised by her line manager. In 2009 she had to attend a CCMA arbitration, but lost her voice due to Laryngitis. She duly informed the manager, handed in a sick certificate, but he refused to send someone else to the CCMA to attend the matter. The SABC got a default award against them to re-instate the applicant in that matter. She was then put through a disciplinary hearing for inter alia not attending the CCMA (without a voice), found guilty and issued with a final written warning valid for 12 months, despite the SABC’s Disciplinary Code clearly stipulating that a final written warning can only be valid for 8 months.

We referred an unfair labour practice dispute seeking to overturn the verdict and sanction. (No real prejudice to the SABC if it happens)

Yesterday the SABC arrived at the CCMA with an attorney and an advocate! To defend a simple unfair labour practice dispute. Or maybe to defend someone’s ego?

Seemingly attorneys and advocates get appointed for the simplest of matters. The SABC has a fully fledged legal department where they employ attorneys and advocates. It is in fact headed by an advocate.  The SABC also has a Employee Relations Department, where all are on senior managerial salary scales earning huge salaries and they are specifically employed to do labour litigation. Yet, the manager appoints advocates to litigate against employees and union officials.

Do we still need a legal department and employee relations department If attorneys and advocates are doing the job?  Recently the same Employee Relations Department shifted their job and responsibility to an ordinary employee (manager) to do a case at the CCMA. Is this not the way to go? Train individual employees and managers in labour relations, and make it part of their responsibilities to represent the SABC in CCMA matters. It is in any event a manager’s job.  In other matters appoint attorneys, which happens anyway. At least the SABC then saves on salaries and other benefits of 2 very expensive units, and only pay attorneys when they are needed. No costly monthly fixed salary bill – only legal cost when needed, which is paid currently anyway.

How much is the the SABC spending on legal fees, and why are they so frequently in court and at the CCMA?  The Durban 4 case, which the SABC, with their expensive advocates and attorneys lost resulted in legal costs of several Millions of rands. Seemingly everyone is OK with that, including the Internal Audit Department and the SABC Board. I wonder if the Special Investigations Unit has picked-up on it and if they will be OK with it? And the public, the tax payers.... It’s their money at the end of the day.

So the money is wasted, millions and millions and no one is held accountable. But dare to not attend a CCMA arbitration (without a voice) and immediate action is taken. Suddenly the dialogue between Scar and the mouse in the Lion King movie is getting a deeper meaning when this big, mean Lion held the tiny mouse by it’s tail ready to swallow it and said “Life's not fair, is it? I shall never be King and you... shall never see the light of another day.”


Saturday, 28 August 2010

Solly Mokoetle has been suspended!


The SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition

SOS welcomes the Board’s decision to suspend the SABC’s GCEO, Solly Mokoetle
27 August 2010

The “SOS: Support Public Broadcasting” Campaign representing a number of trade unions including COSATU, COSATU affiliates CWU and CWUSA, FEDUSA and BEMAWU; independent film and TV production sector organisations including the South African Screen Federation (SASFED); and a host of NGOs and CBOs including the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-SA) and the National Community Radio Forum (NCRF); as well as a number of academics and freedom of expression activists welcome the SABC Board’s decision to suspend the SABC’s CEO, Solly Mokoetle.
Mr. Mokoetle has strongly backed and supported the Chair of the SABC, Dr Ben Ngubane’s serious breaches of corporate governance at the broadcaster. He has implemented the Chair’s illegal unilateral appointment of the Head of News thus throwing the SABC into a serious, an   entirely unnecessary, corporate governance crisis.
Further, it is alleged that Mr Mokoetle has operated unilaterally (with only the authority of the Chair) and without accounting to the rest of the Board on a number of important occasions. For instance, in a leaked memo from Board members to the Minister of Communications on 8 June 2010 it appears that Mr. Mokoetle attended a conference in China on behalf of the Chair of the Board, days before the opening of the World Cup, on an issue not vital to the SABC’s core mandate, and without appointing anyone to act in his absence.
Further to these specific allegations it appears that Mr Mokoetle has failed overall to deliver on his detailed performance targets clearly laid out in his performance contract with the SABC Board. To date the SABC still does not have a “turn around” strategy in place. Further, he does not appear to have implemented any cost cutting measures at the cash-strapped broadcaster – in fact it appears that there was significant fruitless and wasteful expenditure at the SABC over the period of the FIFA World Cup. This is in terms of the purchase of World Cup tickets, without ensuring direct benefits to the SABC, and the hiring of the Sandton Convention Centre, at excessively high rates, as a broadcast venue.
If these various allegations are in fact proved to be correct then we believe Mr Mokoetle should be fired for both actively supporting and implementing illegal decisions taken by the Chair and further for not fulfilling the clear targets of his performance contract.
The swift conclusion of Parliamentary processes

Further to this action around the CEO we believe that Parliament needs to conclude its hearings into the SABC governance crises in an open session. SOS supports the calls by IDASA, SANEF, MISA-SA and others to ensure that Parliamentary sessions are held in the open to ensure maximum public accountability and transparency. We therefore do not believe that Parliament should wait to hear the conclusion of the court case that forced them to adjourn their closed session. The Parliamentary hearing should be held in the open as soon as possible.
The Coalition notes that to date only one side of the story has been tabled and reported on – the evidence of the Chair Dr. Ben Ngubane.  We urgently need to hear the evidence from the rest of the Board.
SOS believes that Parliament must then investigate this evidence before them and take appropriate and swift action against those guilty of violating good corporate governance practices, processes and protocols at the SABC. If it is found that the Chair of the Board, Dr Ben Ngubane has in fact violated good corporate governance practices at the SABC, which it certainly appears he has, then he should be removed as Chair of the Board.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Ruling in Case Number GAJB2736/10 Unfair suspension of Mr. Leballo

The General Manager
Employee Relations

Dear Sir,

The CCMA Arbitration Award in this matter, received today has reference.

We confirm that the outcome of the arbitration was that the suspension of Mr. Leballo has been declared unfair, and that he must report for duty within seven (7) days of receipt of this award. We furthermore confirm that the SABC has been ordered to pay Mr. Leballo an amount of compensation of R90 000 within 21 days to compensate him for the unfair suspension.

Mr. Leballo wants to report for duty tomorrow.

Kindly make the necessary arrangements for him to collect his access card and laptop, and furthermore ensure that his return to work will be without any further interference and hindrances.


Hannes du Buisson

Friday, 06 August 2010

Fire SABC Board Chairperson


6 AUGUST 2010

The SOS Campaign representing trade unions (including Cosatu, Fedusa and Bemawu), NGOs (including Media Monitoring Africa, the Freedom of Expression Institute and Misa-SA), CBOs, industry related bodies (including SASFED), academics and freedom of expression activists notes with dismay the seemingly endless governance problems at the SABC.
From media reports it appears that the Chair of the Board, Dr Ben Ngubane and the CEO, Mr. Solly Mokoetle are again involved in decisions that flout good corporate governance practices and procedures. It appears that the CEO, Mr Solly Mokoetle, without Board approval, has authorised additional bonuses to staff. These discretionary bonuses related to the World Cup are reportedly costing the public broadcaster R4.5m – and this at a time of great financial strain for the broadcaster. Further, there seems to be some controversy around whether these payments were in fact in lieu of overtime.
The interim Board of the SABC arranged a R1.47bn government guarantee in 2009 to pay back the SABC’s debts and further to assist with the implementation of a much needed turn-around strategy. The understanding from National Treasury was that the starting point was that all unnecessary spending would be strictly curtailed. So even if the CEO did not require specific Board approval for the World Cup bonuses, the wisdom of the decision must surely be questioned.
The Coalition believes that the ongoing crises at our public broadcaster have become so serious that urgent intervention from Parliament is, sadly, once again required.
We believe the following interventions should be undertaken by the Board:
1)   First, the Board needs to pass a resolution of no-confidence in the Chair for non-compliance with Board procedures and decisions.
2)   Second, the Board needs to pass a resolution to send a formal letter to the Speaker of Parliament requesting the National Assembly to initiate an enquiry into the alleged misconduct of the Chair with a view to removing him from the Board on the grounds of misconduct in terms of the sections 15, and 15A of the Broadcasting Act.
If the Board is effectively paralysed and cannot act in the ways we suggest, then we call upon Parliament to act. Parliament must (as it is legally entitled, indeed required, to do in times of crisis involving the SABC) initiate its own enquiry into what appear to be serious violations of corporate governance processes involving the Chair of the SABC Board. If after due enquiry it is clear that such violations have taken place, then Parliament must act to remove the Chair. Parliament cannot afford to drag out these crises in the same way it did over the crises that plagued the previous SABC Board.

SOS notes that the Board has been in office for the last seven months and yet we have little to show for this.  No new vision for the SABC appears to have been crafted and the much-talked-about turnaround strategy is still not forthcoming.  Further, communication with the general public in terms of its numerous corporate governance breaches and crises has been grudgingly scarce. For the most part the public has been forced to rely on media leaks.
SOS reiterates once again the critical importance of the SABC fostering a culture of transparency and communication. As a public broadcaster, the SABC’s main stakeholder is the public. Hence the SABC needs to ensure that its decision-making and governance processes – and the details of the crises and how they are being handled – are effectively communicated to the nation.
Further, SOS is considering taking up the numerous corporate governance breaches with the Public Protector. It is critical to restore the credibility of the SABC and this may be one important way.
Finally, SOS notes the comments made in today’s Mail & Guardian newspaper that there are further crises around the appointment of the Head of News and that allegedly divisions have arisen in terms of the disciplining of the CEO, Solly Mokoetle. SOS believes that this further confirms the need for the proposals we have outlined above.
For more information please contact:

Kate Skinner – SOS Coordinator - 082-926-6404
William Bird – Executive Director Media Monitoring Africa – 082-887-1370
Siphiwe Segodi – Freedom of Expression Network – 072-655-4177
Matankana Mothapo – Spokesperson Communications Workers Union – 082-759-0900
Hannes du Buisson – President Broadcasting Electronic and Media Workers Union – 082-920-8669
Marc Schwinges – Communications SASFED – 083-901-2000
Ayesha Kadjee – Executive Director FXI – 083-500-7486

Wednesday, 04 August 2010

The not-so-Human Resources of SABC Sales and Marketing

Sue Dennison worked for the SABC for 20 years.

This morning she received this e-mail from the Human Resources Department, Sales and Marketing headed by Mr Dingaan Feliti.

“Hi Sue
This serves to advise that your last day in our service was 31 July 2010 as you reached normal retirement age during July.  We erroneously did not inform you and did not do the processing.  Please be aware that the SABC will not be in a position to pay you for the 2 days you worked in August 2010.

HOW DREADFUL IS THIS? First you don’t inform the employee, after 20 years of service that her services will be terminated (many employees continue to work beyond retirement date). No interest at all in her 20 years of service. No “thank you”, no “good bye”. And then you add insult to injury by stating she will not be paid for the two days she worked!!!! Unbelievable!  Shocking! Well, maybe not so shocking for us, because this is how employees are treated, in particular at Sales and Marketing. By what is called Human Resources.

Sales and Marketing is the engine room of the SABC’s finances, where at least 80% of the SABC’s income is generated. And this is how you treat those employees?

A report from a member.

Dear Hannes
Please refer to the e-mail below and the attachment and kindly note that most of the staff is distraught with the way this had been dealt with as Tannie Sue was seen crying uncontrollably and was made to leave the building like a skelm after 20 years of service to the SABC.
What are we going to do about this as the members of the union/s are very upset with the way they are dealing with the pertinent matters within Group Sales & Marketing.”

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Chief Executive, Human Capital represents junior employee in disciplinary hearing

Days ago the Acting Chief Executive, HUMAN CAPITAL of the SABC represented a junior employee in an internal disciplinary hearing.

How bizarre! The same executive is required in terms of the DAF (Delegation of Authority Framework) of the SABC to approve disciplinary action against the same employee he represented! So how do you decide to discipline an employee but then you go and defend that employee in the hearing? And then you have three of your subordinates sitting on the panel, of whom at least one is reporting to you directly (the HR person on the panel)! Then the accused employee does not appear in person, but only the Chief Executive. And guess what was the outcome. Case dismissed! Assault.

Is this a new strategy to weaken unions at the SABC, I wonder (tongue-in-the-cheek)? You simply go to the Acting Chief Executive, Human Capital who takes days to respond to letters in respect of salary negotiations, (busy office) to represent you in disciplinary hearings which requires lots of time. Or maybe it is a new way of transparency. Glasnost! You pay lip service to DAF, you recommend that disciplinary action be taken, then you go and defend the employee and you win the case. Kind of using your power. At least you can then blame someone else, who has dismissed the case. And you build a very good reputation as the best (paid) employee representative ever! I wonder what one would name such a venture? AGCERMPCS. Acting Group Chief Executive RM Professional Consulting Services maybe? I don’t know.

So Mr. Acting Chief Executive, Human Capital, what about starting to look at the interest of employees at the SABC (not by representing them in hearings) but by creating a pleasant and conducive working environment at the SABC? Like in putting structures in place to award employees for good performance? Something your predecessors has dismally failed to do. Like in concentrate on employee’s career paths and regradings, where loyal, hard working employees have not received any promotion and other than the negotiated increases for years now? Like starting a process to review the draconian personnel regulations of the SABC where for instance employees are prosecuted when they speak to the media about what’s going on at the SABC?

Friday, 21 May 2010


If reports are true that the Chairperson of the Board and the GCEO of the SABC appointed Mr. Phil Molefe as Head of News without the consent of the rest of the Board, it would constitute a very serious breach of corporate governance and has the  potential of once again plunging the SABC into similar turmoil the country experienced the same time last year. It also has the potential of seriously jeopardizing the World Cup, only 20 days away. The SABC and the country cannot again afford a division in the Board with all its infighting and have people acting outside governance structures.

The Board and the GCEO have been accused twice in the past three months of allegedly flouting corporate governance and it appears to be   

We are calling for the immediate suspension of both the Chairperson of the Board and the GCEO, and any other person involved in this serious breach of corporate governance pending a proper investigation of the matter and to avoid a situation of infighting and destabilization of the SABC at a very crucial time in the history of our country. A suspension would be precautionary of nature, and would not indicate the guilt of anyone involved.

To date the top structure of the SABC has failed to address many issues, including the most pressing one in the Freestate, where employees every day of their lives are intimidated and threatened by draconian management and the mere asking of a question can result in suspensions for longer than a year whilst others walk free in matters involving millions of rands.

We also demand that the appointment of Mr. Molefe be reversed, as it was done ultra vires and carries no status.


Thursday, 13 May 2010

Breach of Multi-term agreement

Dear Mr. Morobe,

The SABC is in breach of the Multi-term agreement between the parties. The agreement, which was drafted by the SABC (not BEMAWU) clearly stated the SABC will effect a salary increase of CPI +1% by the end of April 2010. The SABC only paid 3.75%. This is clearly in breach of the agreement. For two (2) years prior to April 2010 the SABC knew about this agreement, but failed/alternatively refused to put proper arrangements in place to comply with same.

All our rights are strictly reserved.

Furthermore, the SABC has failed to engage us further in negotiations in respect of the substantive issues and the outstanding 2.2%.

We hereby demand that the SABC either without any further delay implement the outstanding 2.2%, or urgently engage with BEMAWU in negotiations around the implementation of same.

Also in this regard our rights are reserved.

We await your most urgent response.


Hannes du Buisson

Friday, 07 May 2010

Re: Multi-term Agreement: BEMAWU/SABC

Dear Mr. Morobe,

Your letter attached hereunder has reference.

We are astounded by your apparent arrogance and lack of appreciation of legal binding agreements.

The agreement does NOT state that you may retain 50% tax. That is furthermore defined as an unlawful deduction, which will result in an official complaint to the Department of Labour and SARS, as not one of our members pay 50% tax. Seemingly the SABC has spent millions of Rands to purchase a system called SAP, which appears to be useless and not able to do a simple calculation of salaries and taxes. This to us appears to be more fruitless and wasteful expenditure and a transgression of the PFMA, should same be applicable to the SABC.

The fact that the SABC has failed to properly train people to operate SAP, alternatively has purchased a non compatible system should and must never prejudice our members.

We demand that you only deduct the correct and applicable tax, and NOT 50% failing we reserve our rights.

The matter is far from closed.


Hannes du Buisson

7 MAY 2010
: president@bemawu.org.za



Your email communication of this morning al 09:11 am refers.

I wish to advise that the SABC will honour its stated commitment to pay the 7.5% increase to BEMAWU members,
retrospective to 1 April 2010, today the 7th of May 2010.

I further confirm that 50% of the increase has been retained in order to reconcile tax and other deductions applicable to
employee because this is not a normal payroll.

I thank you for having considered our proposal for a postponement and regard that matter as closed.


On 2010/05/07 10:11 AM, "Ron Morobe" <morober@sabc.co.za> wrote:

Dear Hannes,
Please find attached a response to your email of this morning, regarding the salary increase of BEMAWU members.
Juliana Mdakane
| SABC Limited
Office of the Group Executive: Human Capital Services
Tel: +27 (11) 714 3331 | Fax: +27 (11) 714 4820
Private Bag X1, Auckland Park, 2006, Gauteng, South Africa
www.sabc.co.za <http://www.sabc.co.za>

Dear Ron,

The SABC is clearly in breach of the multi-term agreement between the parties. Despite the valid agreement and public undertaking from the SABC, you have failed to implement the agreement after we have already granted you an indulgence, which indulgence was not an amendment of the agreement. The SABC was legally bound to implement CPI + 1% by the end of April 2010. This they knew for the past 2 years. The SABC defaulted, and requested an extension of time until today, the 7th. When BEMAWU met with you earlier this week, on Wednesday you made it clear you would not, despite your public announcement that you would do so,  be able to give effect to the agreement and pay our members by the 7th of May.

Our members are extremely unhappy about this, and there is a growing vote of no confidence in the Board and Management of the SABC. A motion has been put forward that BEMAWU must bring an urgent application to compel the SABC to give effect to the agreement, and in the unlikely event that such application fails, that we then cancel the agreement. The main thrust and motivation for such an application would be that you knew for two years in advance that the multi-term had to be implemented by the end of April 2010, and the SABC has failed to take the necessary steps to ensure same. Furthermore, that we have no reason to believe that you will in fact implement the agreement by the end of May 2010, because you have already said so previously, and defaulted once by not implementing, after you have publicly said you would and a legal, binding contract exists in this respect.

Our members feel they must always bent backwards, without any sign of appreciation and recognition from the SABC.
We would like to offer you the opportunity to restore some of the trust the SABC has lost as a result of their non-compliance with the agreement and their further undertaking, by making the following without prejudice proposal:

That BEMAWU will agree to the implementation of the multi-term agreement at the end of May 2010 on the following conditions:

  • That our indulgence and good faith be met with similar conduct from the SABC’s side, now and in future
  • That instead of the contractual 7.5%, a percentage of 8.5% be implemented, which extra percentage (1%) will be deducted from the outstanding contractual 2.2% agreed to previously,
  • That same will this time definitely happen as soon as possible, but not later than the end of May 2010.

We need your urgent confirmation of same by close of business today, for obvious reasons.


Hannes du Buisson

Friday, 30 April 2010

SABC failed to pay Radio 2000 staff

More than 40 employees at Radio 2000 has, for the second time this year not been paid by the SABC. Workers are threatening now to down tools if they don’t get paid immediately. Some workers already went home whilst other obtained legal advice from BEMAWU to embark on a strike. Should the SABC not pay our members immediately, we will start legal action against the SABC, which may include a strike. As most of these employees are technical staff, producers and on-air presenters, it may result in a total blackout for Radio 2000.

It is shocking and confirms our suspicion that SABC Management has no or little regard for employee rights. It is the worst treatment after dismissing an employee to not pay employees their hard earned and often very small salaries. Employees have financial responsibilities, they must pay their bills, they must buy food, they must put in petrol and pay their car installments. How are they going to do this without their salaries? But if you earn a big, inflated salary like the Management of the SABC,  you obviously don’t feel the same pinch, and you make sure your salary is paid in time.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Vote please

BEMAWU members are urged to vote in the latest poll re salary negotiations at http://www.bemawu.org.za/

Remember to register with your own username and password and to log on after you have received a confirmation e-mail with the same username and password. Your SABC username and password will NOT work unless you use it to register on the site.

ONLY BEMAWU members will be given access to the site.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

New Shift Patterns

Dear Keobokile,

We are concerned about the turnaround times from your departments. Several letters (and issues) are still unanswered and we will be now compelled to declare disputes in all of those issues. The SAFM issue, where one of our members have been removed off air for no apparent reason is one such issue.

We have corresponded and communicated with your office about the News Studio Crews and the unilateral changes going on there at the moment. Hereunder a complaint by one of our members, which is self explanatory:

Johnny Manamela had a meeting with the permanent studio production news crew. In this meeting he said that negotiations were entered into with all the unions concerned, and after negotiations, he received a directive from Employee Relations at the SABC to go ahead with his proposed shift roster for May 2010.
I said to him that he is in breach of the Sabc's time management principles, on one point, that his proposed changes do not take into account that we are to be given two 60 hour breaks, one of which must include a weekend, to this he added that he has complied with the rules. His proposal is that we work a 4 day on 2day off, 4day on 1 day off schedule. I do not see how this can be allowed.
Another is that, I was not consulted, but merely informed of these changes, and asked if an impact study of these changes was done.
He says that with the old system we are constantly under utilized, and if that is the case then, our unsociable hour allocation be re-negotiated, as this in unfair.”

This clearly is a unilateral change to terms and conditions of employment, and an unlawful one too. We urge you to instruct Manamela to stop the implementation of this unilateral change, failing we will file a dispute and urgent interdict and we will organize a strike at News Studios. Should we not receive an undertaking within three (3) days from this letter that the unilateral changes will be stopped, we will proceed with the mentioned actions.


Hannes du Buisson
BEMAWU President

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Increase of staff

Extraxt of our submission to Parliament

15.1. There was an overall increase of 50% in Senior and Middle management in this period.

15.2. In the same period the workforce or so-called First Citizens only increased by three percent (3%). (See document 1)

15.3. In Content Enterprises (Content Hub) alone there was an 80% increase in `Senior and Middle management and a reduction of First Citizens orordinary employees of 24%. (Document 2)

15.4. In Corporate Strategy only junior managers and supervisors were appointed and no so-called First Citizens. There was a 300% increase or growth in managers and supervisors in this department.(Document 3).

15.5. In the office of the Group Chief Executive and Regions there was an increase of 400% in seniormanagement and 205% in Middle management.

15.6. This is a total of 625% increase in management in this department. (Document 4)

15.7. Group Finance - 63% increase in Senior and Middle management. (Document 5)

15.8. Group Human Capital Services - increase of 55% in Middle management and a reductions of 11% of bargaining units employees (Document 6)

15.9. Internal Audit - 50% increase in the Middle managers and a 400% increase in Supervisors. (Document 7)

15.10. Legal Services Department - 130% increase in Senior and Middle management. (Document 8)

15.11. News Department - 48% increase in Senior and Middle managementand a 15%decrease of ordinary employees of (Document 9)

15.12. Radio Division - 130% increase in Senior and Middle management and only a 7% increase of ordinary employees (Document 10)

15.13. Regional operations - 80% increase in Senior and Middle management and a 30% decrease of ordinary employees (Document 11)

15.14. Sales and Marketing department - 125% increase in Executive and Senior management and a 10% reduction of ordinary employees. (Document 12)

15.15. Public Broadcasting division - 36% increase in Middle management and only a 3% increase of ordinary employees. (Document 13)

15.16. PBS Television - 97% increase in Senior and Middle management and a 4% reduction of ordinary employees. (Document 14)

15.17. A 440% increase in senior and middle management for PCS whilst ordinary employees only increased by 3%. (See document 15)

15.18. PCS Television - 240% increase in Senior and Middle management. (See document 16)

15.19. In Television in total - 106% increase of Senior and Middle management, while over the same period a 3% decrease of ordinary employees. (See document 17)

Friday, 26 March 2010

Commission payouts

Dear Sir,

It has come to our attention that our members at Sales and Marketing were short paid on commissions they earned as per the following:

  • January for December - R914 538 over target for December – Payout should have been R3 323, our members only received R3 000 – A short payment of R323.

  • Februarie for Januarie.   R1 434 061 under target for Januarie – Payout should have been R1 988, our members received R1 955.82, a short payment of R32.

  • March for Februarie.  R3 875 488 over target for Februarie – Payout should have been R4 368, our members only received R3 000 – a short payment of R1 368.

We demand that the short payment for this period be rectified within three (3) days of this letter, failing we will proceed with legal action against the SABC.


Hannes du Buisson

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


We are in process of updating and redesigning our web page. We have a discussion forum currently running. Please go and register as it will be a closed forum where we would be able to discuss union issues. Kindly fill in all your details when registering on the forum. We are also asking there for a mandate for salary negotiations and questions around PRMA. As said, its a closed forum and your personal details will be kept confidential. On this forum we will tell you why its important to ind another way of communicating with you and keep you up to date on issues. Our web address is http://www.bemawu.org.za

Friday, 12 March 2010

Let's fix our SABC


Broadly defined, a company’s ethics are the principles and standards that it espouses to guide it in its day-to-day business activities and its relations with internal and external stakeholders in accordance with its established corporate values.

Ethical business conduct provides a strong measure of
organisational integrity that should permeate its culture, motivate its strategy, business goals, policies and activities. The total commitment of the board and senior management is required. A company’s code of ethics should be set out in enough detail to give clear guidance, be accompanied by a training programme and be widely communicated. The board of directors is responsible for defining the company’s code of ethics whilst management has to implement the code within the company.

Examples of ethical values might include trustworthiness, honesty, respect, responsibility and accountability, the pursuit of excellence, law-abiding behaviour and protection of the environment. Althoug
h Codes of Ethics will differ between companies, the following may be considered some key areas in which companies may wish to define parameters of ethical conduct:

  • advertising and marketing practices
  • bribery and dishonesty
  • conflicts of interest, including family and personal relationships, outside employment and financial investments
  • employee and customer privacy
  • employment practices, equality of employment opportunity, non-discrimination, freedom from sexual harassment
  • gifts, entertainment and gratuities
  • insider trading
  • intellectual property and trade secrets
  • political contributions
  • product quality and safety, including consumer protection standards
  • protecting company assets
  • stakeholder relations

Key questions:

  • Has the board of my company adopted a code of ethics?
  • Do I personally aim for high ethical standards in my capacity as a director?
  • Is a high ethical tone set ‘from the top’ (i.e. by the board of directors)?
  • Are the company’s ethical and moral values unequivocally communicated to all its employees and other stakeholders?

Can someone please send me a copy of the SABC’s Code of Ethics?

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Union Membership

Just a short reminder to members and prospective members.

In the past BEMAWU took on members already in trouble and we helped them, mostly successfully. It however takes a  lot of our time and resources and particularly it is costly when legal fees need to be paid (BEMAWU members don’t have to pay for lawyers). We therefore took a decision that we will still take on members in trouble, but they will have to pay for any legal costs themselves. Legal cost for one labour matter can easily be R60 000,00.

The past few days we had several employees joining, some which will have to pay their own legal cost.

This is the policy of most unions.

We therefore urge employees to join timeously. You might find yourself without any representation when there is a restructuring or retrenchment process.

In light of the recent suspensions and closing down of News International it may just be the best for you to have a trade union behind you.

To join, mail us at headoffice@bemawu.org.za

FW: SABC News International closedown

They not getting it right, again.

------ Forwarded Message
From: "<The President>" , Hannes du Buisson <president@bemawu.org.za>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 08:28:33 +0200
To: Keobokile Mosweu <MosweuKE@sabc.co.za>
Conversation: SABC News International closedown
Subject: SABC News International closedown

The General Manager
Employee Relations

Dear Sir,

We act on behalf of our members at SABC News International.

We refer you to the media reports in respect of the decision by the Board to close down SABC News International, one such report attached hereunder for ease of reference.

Restructuring, in particular of this extend is clearly a Section 189 process. We, as a registered trade union has not been consulted in terms of Section 189. Why not?

We demand that the status quo ante  be restored with immediate effect and a Section 189 process be followed, failing we will bring an urgent application in the Labour Court to enforce same.


Hannes du Buisson

SABC news international makes way for 24hr channel
March 10, 2010

SABC news international operations are going to be scaled down from April 1 to make way for a new 24-hour domestic news channel, the broadcaster said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said in a statement the decision was made by the SA Broadcasting Corporation's board.

"The truncated service will provide the basis for a future 24-hour domestic news channel that will be part of the SABC's digital terrestrial television multiplex."

He said the broadcaster's news international, which started in 2007, had faced considerable challenges and the lack of viable distribution points meant full-scale operations were no longer profitable. - Sapa

------ End of Forwarded Message

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

How to dismiss ex employees

Hereunder a story we picked up from the Sowetan.

It is trite law that you can only institute disciplinary action against your employees, and NOT ex-employees. As much as we would have liked him to be disciplined for the serious allegations against him, Mbebe cannot now be disciplined. How do you dismiss an employee not in your service?  Any continuation of disciplinary action and defending an urgent application would be gross fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The SABC must press criminal charges against him, should there be grounds for same, and also civil action to recover any fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Who from HR\Employee Relations has advised the SABC?

Mvuzo Mbebe to fight back
THE SABC will continue with the disciplinary action against its former head of content Mvuzo Mbebe although he has since left the public broadcaster.
Mbebe’s five-year contract ended on Sunday, but the SABC says the disciplinary action will continue.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said yesterday: “His contract has expired and was not renewed, but there is still disciplinary action against him.”
Mbebe and three other executives were suspended by the interim board in October last year pending an outcome of internal disciplinary processes arising from investigations conducted by the auditor-general and other parties.
He was suspended together with chief financial officer Robin Nicholson, head of audience services Anton Heunis and head of group procurement Mabela Sathekge.
But Mbebe’s lawyer Siyabonga Mpontshana said yesterday they would challenge in court the SABC’s decision to continue with the disciplinary action against him.
“I have been representing him during the disciplinary action. The SABC is responsible for the delays.”
Mpontshana said they would launch an urgent application in court to stop the disciplinary action.
Meanwhile, Mbebe said he was taking a short break between jobs.
He said he was currently volunteering in a number of projects, including sports, to keep himself busy.
Mbebe is also former CEO of the National Sports Council.

PRMA Update

BEMAWU has been criticized by the SABC and its lawyers for communicating the issues around the PRMA to you, our members.

We will meet with the SABC tomorrow at 11:00 to discuss our proposed amendment to the settlement agreement. If we fail to agree, we will apply for an expedited date at the High Court to hear the matter.

Monday, 08 March 2010


BEMAWU did not settle with the SABC on the PRMA case and we will possibly go to court on a future date.

The agreement, as signed between the pensioners and the SABC, is a minefield and the SABC has refused to amend the agreement to clarify vital points. The agreement states that the SABC admit the contractual right of its employee’s to receive PRMA contributions from the SABC. With this we do not have a problem, as this is exactly what our case is based on.

It then went further to state that employees are entitled to PRMA benefits for as long as they qualify. They qualify only because of their membership of the SABC’s medical aid scheme. If they are no longer members of the SABC Medical Aid scheme, members do not qualify for PRMA benefits.

Remember, the PRMA is not part of the SABC Medical Scheme, but a separate term and condition of employment (like the medical aid.)

The agreement further states that the SABC will only consult the plaintiffs (which has been defined as the pensioners only) about an alternative medical aid scheme with broadly the same (medical aid) benefits. Should the pensioners not be satisfied with the alternative scheme, they could go on expedited arbitration.

Our problem is this – PRMA and Medical Aid are two separate issues. PRMA is not part of the medical aid scheme. The danger the pensioners are now faced with, is that when they are put on a new medical scheme (they have already agreed to a new scheme) they will loose their PRMA benefit. In terms of the rules of the PRMA Scheme and in terms of the agreement signed by their lawyers.

We want the agreement to be amended to secure PRMA benefits even if we accept a new medical scheme (which must be by agreement between the parties). The SABC’s first reaction was that they do not agree to such an amendment. Why not? If the spirit of the agreement did not mean members will loose that benefit, why not putting it in the agreement?

We also want assurance that the SABC will not simply consult us on a new medical scheme. It is a term and condition of employment and it must be negotiated.

Our medical scheme is by far superior to any open scheme and we should never let go of our scheme. Our scheme does not have directors and shareholders and CEO’s which must be paid dividends, bonuses and salaries.  Apart from administration fees, the rest of the money is used for the benefit of our members. Our scheme has shown in the past they are willing to pay for new technology and treatment which may save a member’s life. Other, open schemes has refused to pay. You, or your family may suffer from cancer, and some new treatment could be available but not on the approved list of an open medical scheme and you will not be able to benefit from that. With our current scheme its different.

We are still in discussions with the SABC and the matter could still settle before we go to court. We will in the meantime apply for an expedited date.

Friday, 05 March 2010


BEMAWU would like to place in perspective the media statement issued by the SABC attached hereunder by responding as follows.

We have received information from at least 3 reliable source that a Board Member will be seconded to head the Sales and Marketing division of the SABC. As this would be unethical we raised the issue in a discussion forum of the SOS Campaign without mentioning any name, but used the term “board member”. At least one individual member of the forum with close association with the SABC responded by referring to the person as “she”.  We never mentioned whether it was a he or a she. This confirmed that our sources had the correct information, as it was communicated to us it would indeed be a female board member. So four separate, independent sources confirmed this.

The unfounded attack by the Board on BEMAWU and its attempt to discredit us is noted with concern. This will however not stop us from reporting to the various interest groups our concerns, and we will continue to monitor our public broadcaster to ensure good corporate governance and compliance. At least we have succeeded to change the mind of the board to second a board member to the Sales and Marketing division.

What expanded oversight means, will be seen.

Issued by the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union.
Media enquiries : Hannes du Buisson



Johannesburg, 05 March  2010 – As part of the programme of turning around and stabilising the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the corporation’s Board yesterday (4 March 2010) asked one of its members, Ms Clare O’Neil, to provide expanded oversight of the SABC’s sales and marketing activities.

The Board made the request at the recommendation of the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Solly Mokoetle and because of Ms. O’Neil’s specialised knowledge and experience in the field of advertising and related activities.

Ms O’Neil will contribute to strategic and operational planning on SABC revenues and exercise oversight over implementation of the turnaround programme. The Board expects this arrangement to last for several months. She will remain a member of the Board and will not serve directly in the SABC structures.

The Board thanks Ms O’Neil for accepting this increased involvement.

In the light of various inaccurate claims and comments made before the Board addressed the matter, the Board notes that the request to Ms O’Neil and the nature of her increased oversight is in line with the requirements with the SABC’s enabling legislation, the Broadcasting Act; with the Public Finance Management Act; and with various other regulatory and statutory imperatives. The Board believes it would be useful in future if commentators and analysts did not base their assessments on inaccurate rumours, but on facts.

It also notes that the inaccurate reports and comments appear to have originated on a materially inaccurate claim by an official of the Bemawu trade union. It suggests analysts and commentators treat future claims from this source with caution.


Issued By:                    Group Communications on Behalf of the Chairperson of the Board.

Media Enquiries:         Kaizer Kganyago

                                   082 306 8888

Tuesday, 02 March 2010

PRMA Update

The PRMA case in the High Court will stand down until Monday next week to enable the parties to reach a settlement in the matter.

The parties will meet on Thursday the 4th of March to discuss a settlement. Should no settlement be reached the matter will continue on Monday. No evidence will be led and it will only be argued before the judge.

Kindly make sure you are available to respond to any proposal put by the SABC. Please post your view here too.

Monday, 01 March 2010


The SABC applied for a postponement of thep matter over the weekend. We instructed our attorneys to oppose the application. The SABC will be held liable for the cost. The application will be heard this morning.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Gab suspended

Gab Mampone has been suspended, according to the SABC’s Interkom.


BEMAWU has referred in the shortest time the most dispute in its history to the CCMA and there are many more to come. So far we have cases set down for 9, 11, 15th (two disputes) and one for the 25th of March this year.

This is due to in particular the attitude of Group Human Resources management at the highest level and Employee Relations Management. We do not get any co-operation from these two managers and we sense an attitude of no care. Most disputes are about failure of the SABC to promote members. We have been very patient with the SABC up to now, but no more. For years we were told there is no money to promote and regrade our members whilst top and senior management are enjoying lucrative salary packages.

Other disputes are about unilateral change to policies aimed at putting more pressure on the already overworked and underpaid SABC staff.

It is time that our deserving members are looked after by the SABC. To be for 20 years on a junior scale with no promotion and regrading is not fair.

Warrant of Execution against SABC

BEMAWU has obtained two warrants of execution against the SABC for legal cost they have failed to pay.

The sheriff will visit the SABC on Wednesday or Thursday next week to repossess property of the SABC to the value of R 61 295.26 should the money not be handed over to the sheriff. The SABC has failed to pay this amount to BEMAWU when the SABC unlawfully cancelled our Collective Agreement and BEMAWU won the case in the Labour Appeal Court.


The PRMA case started today in the Johannesburg High Court and the SABC played games from the first minute. Their lawyers asked that the matter be postponed and be referred for mediation, and if mediation fails it then be referred to arbitration. What a waste of the court's time, our time and everybody's money.

On 14 January this year we wrote a letter to Mr. Mokoetle and we alerted him about the fact that the case will be heard in February. We suggested a meeting to discuss and negotiate a settlement. We received no response from the SABC.

We will not consent to mediation. All parties knew about the case and the dates were fixed more than 18 Months ago. When you are in charge of a multi billion rand organisation you don't wake up on the eve of a 10 day scheduled court case and decide to mediate.

We will proceed on Monday.

Thursday, 25 February 2010



- The SABC was described as "distasteful, unacceptable and dishonest" in a scathing attack over the rights of its pensioners in the Rand High Court on Wednesday.

Judge Percy Blieden delivered judgment in the class-action suit brought by 93 SABC pensioners after the SABC suspended their medical contributions and cheaper TV licences in a "unilateral" way "without negotiating".

The groups of pensioners - including well-known personalities such as Cliff Saunders, Johann Pretorius and André Liebenberg - walked out of the courtroom victoriously.

The SABC was ordered to start paying 60% of the pensioners' medical-fund contributions with immediate effect.

The public broadcaster was also ordered to reinstate the TV subsidy to pensioners immediately.

Moreover, the broadcaster was also told to refund all the money the pensioners had to pay from their own pockets ever since the benefits were suspended, as well as the interest at 15.5% per year.

Costs estimated at R250m

The exercise is estimated to ultimately cost the SABC R250m.

Blieden said as a "state organ" the SABC is expected to act ethically, to practise good human-resources management, to be transparent with information and to act impartially, fairly, equally and without prejudice in its service provision.

"Unfortunately the facts of this case prove that none of the conditions were met by the SABC in its relationship with the pensioners.

"The mere thought that costs are curbed by aiming at the rights of pensioners with regards to medical-aid funding is not only distasteful but unacceptable and dishonest."

Conspiracy claims "scandalous and libellous"

Blieden also rejected an argument from the SABC that the pensioners conspired before their retirement to ensure that "white managers in the SABC" resigned with benefits to which they were not entitled, as "totally scandalous and libellous".
Piet Bester from the firm Blake Bester Inc, which acted on behalf of the pensioners, described the verdict on Wednesday as a "strong signal to all employers in the country that they cannot unilaterally and without negotiation" tamper with employee and pensioner benefits.


The Post Retirement Medical Aid case starts tomorrow in the Johannesburg High Court. BEMAWU is the only union at the SABC taking up this matter on behalf of its members. The case has been set down for 10 court days. Only the applicants in this case will benefit from the judgment. All BEMAWU members are automatically claimants in the matter.

We approached the SABC with a request for a meeting to attempt to settle the matter, which request was .... Ignored.

We estimate the case will cost the SABC more than R5M.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


So who will it be? Will the ordinary worker in the bargaining unit again be the target for retrenchments, or will it be the fat cats in top management? We are in possession of statistics of how top and middle management we grown and inflated at the expense of the people who is doing the work. We will insist that the lucrative packages of top and senior management first be cut back before any of our members are retrenched.

We will make sure the heavily bloated top structure will be streamlined before any employee in the bargaining unit are touched.

BEMAWU members can rest assured we will fiercely fight any retrenchments of our members.

Those Chief Executives with no role or function must go first.

We want a competency audit of top and senior management.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Comrades of CWU and MWASA,

This serves as a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the Human Resources Department of the Freestate Region, and in particular in the abilities and intentions of Mr. Sipho Maseko. This also serves as a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE in the Regional Manager and his collaborators. Mr. Namane has been found NOT guilty on three of the four charges. Mr. Maseko send him a document and warning form to sign, stating that he has been found guilty on three charges. Was this done deliberately? So what action is Senior Management  going to take against Mr. Tsoenyane and Maseko for suspending Mr. Namane for more than six months?

To fill in the warning form is Mr Maseko’s job. He has not done that properly. Will poor work performance action be instituted against him? Or is discipline in that region only for employees not agreeing with the political views of Management?

Comrades, please organise your members in that region. We have already started. We will not stop until justice has been done.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


BEMAWU Regional Chairperson, Mr. Mike Namane received a final written warning valid for 8 months for replying to an e-mail of the Communications Manager send to everyone in the Freestate Region!!!!! Mr. Namane will report for duty tomorrow and an appeal has already been filed against the Final Written Warning. At the same time the matter has been referred to the CCMA in the event that the outcome of the appeal is not fair.

Is the power base of Tsoenyane and Motsoeneng busy crumbling? Maybe they are not so untouchable as they thought they are!

The time has come....  


The memo in respect of compulsory leave has reference. Mr. Morobe is confused and wrong when he says the Basic Conditions of Employment requires staff to take at least 21 calender days leave per cycle.  The Act says :

(2) An employer must grant an employee at least—
(a) 21 consecutive days’ annual leave on full remuneration in respect of each
annual leave cycle;

Why Mr. Morobe is trying to mislead employees, is a mystery. There is a massive and fundamental difference between “requires staff to take” and “must grant”.

The Personel Regulations however states the following:

(a)  Employees are required to take at least 21 days’ leave in every annual leave cycle (“compulsory leave”) or within six months after the end of the annual leave cycle. Employees are entitled to take compulsory leave in one consecutive period, that is, 21 consecutive days’ leave.

Playing golf is easier than trying to interpret the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, for some people.

Tuesday, 09 February 2010

Mike Namane found NOT guilty on 3 of the 4 charges

The disciplinary hearing of Mr. Mike Namane, BEMAWU Official and Regional Chairperson of the Freestate Regions was postponed today after he was found NOT guilty on 3 of the 4 trumped-up charges against him. Mr. Namane who was suspended for 6 months by the Regional Manager and Employee Relations of the SABC was found guilty only because he replied to an e-mail sent to him, and accidentally pressed the “Reply to all” button.

How fruitless and wasteful is it to suspend someone for 6 months for that? TV License money? Tax payer’s money? SABC deficit of more than R1Bn?

Well done to Bruce Molzen, BEMAWU Regional Chairperson, Western Cape for representing Mr. Namae in this hearing, but most of all a big thank you to Mr. Zola Yeye, the chairperson of that hearing who refused to play Tsoenyane and Motsoeneng’s political power games.

Tsoenyane has already called a witness who refused to lie in the hearing and intimidated her. We will protect you, sister. You did the right thing to not succumb to their lies and intimidation.

Here’s a high five to you intimidators (and the initiator) in the Freestate Region, now pick a finger!!!!! Your HR is incompetent, biased, and does not have a clue what Human Resources means. Your Regional Manager is a bully.

The war is (still) on!

VIVA the unions, viva fairness and justice, Viva BEMAWU!!!!!

Monday, 01 February 2010

The Board has started it's witch-hunt

Employees at the SABC today received this correspondence....

Dear xxxx,

At the xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Management Meeting held last week I referred to an exercise HR had to conduct across the SABC with the view of determining via a recon process which members of staff had been absent during December 2009 without a corresponding leave application on SAP. The source documents used were access control reports as well as a leave report from SAP for the month of December 2009.

The attached report is the result of the recon process completed for all Johannesburg based employees. I would request that you please provide reasons/ comments why members of staff had been absent from work without having a corresponding leave application on SAP. I am aware of the fact that certain individuals had been acting during December which would require them to also provide their input where needed.

May I please request that you submit your input/ comments to me by no later than close of business Thursday, 28 January 2010.

Your cooperation is greatly valued.

Kind regards,


So the witch hunt has started on employees.... There are no proper HR structures and leadership in the SABC, the place is fraught with favoritisms, victimisation and abuse of power by certain managers, there are allegedly no career development plans, etc but HR must play policeman to check employee’s hours. The AG report has not been properly addressed, but employees must explain where they have been every minute of the day.

Are we EVER going to get this right?

Unilateral change to policies

Dear Sir,

It has come to our attention that the SABC has unilaterally changed policies which are terms and conditions of employment.

Yesterday we came in possession of a document dated 7 February 2008, signed by Dr Pat Naves. The title of this document is “Remuneration Directive”. In this document, which is described by Ron Morobe as a policy decision,  the policy on ad hoc increases for instance will cease.

In fact, everything in this policy is a gross breach of terms and conditions of employment and has been done without the involvement of the unions.

Furthermore, our members are denied the right to sell leave, as per agreed policy. Many of our members need this money (which will reduce the leave balance of employees) to fund school fees for their children, something they have practiced for many years.

We demand that this directive be withdrawn, and that the policy entitling our members to sell leave be restored, failing we will proceed with a dispute.


Hannes du Buisson


To:  Mr. Keobokile Mosweu
        General Manager
        Employee Relations

Dear Sir,

We act on behalf of several of our members.

We are in possession of documentation in respect of payments for work done during the 2009 Elections which appeared to be tampered with, with the effect that the employees on that list, of which the majority are BEMAWU members, were paid substantially less for the work they have performed during the elections. The altering of the document and the subsequent reduced payment is tantamount to fraud and we intend pursuing such charges should you fail to urgently remedy the situation.

Hours of individuals were for example altered from 41.32 to 23, 58.67 to 37, 37.84 to 23, etc. and a total of 22 employees are involved.

We demand that our members be paid for the hours they worked, as submitted and approved and we furthermore demand the strongest disciplinary action against the person who has fraudulently changed the hours. Should you fail to remedy this situation within seven (7) days of date of this letter, we will proceed with a dispute and criminal action against the perpetrator.  A formal complaint will be lodged with Internal Audit too in this respect.


Hannes du Buisson

Thursday, 28 January 2010


To:  Mr. Keobokile Mosweu
        General Manager
        Employee Relations

Dear Sir,

We act on behalf of several of our members.

We are in possession of documentation in respect of payments for work done during the 2009 Elections which appeared to be tampered with, with the effect that the employees on that list, of which the majority are BEMAWU members, were paid substantially less for the work they have performed during the elections. The altering of the document and the subsequent reduced payment is tantamount to fraud and we intend pursuing such charges should you fail to urgently remedy the situation.

Hours of individuals were for example altered from 41.32 to 23, 58.67 to 37, 37.84 to 23, etc. and a total of 22 employees are involved.

We demand that our members be paid for the hours they worked, as submitted and approved and we furthermore demand the strongest disciplinary action against the person who has fraudulently changed the hours. Should you fail to remedy this situation within seven (7) days of date of this letter, we will proceed with a dispute and criminal action against the perpetrator.  A formal complaint will be lodged with Internal Audit too in this respect.


Hannes du Buisson

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Senior Manager and BEMAWU member Tseliso Leballo of the SABC has been unfairly suspended by the SABC last week (19 January 2010). BEMAWU today filed a dispute of unfair suspension with the CCMA. Last week Mr. Leballo received a letter of intention to suspend him. Immediate after he received the letter, his access card was taken away and he was escorted out of the building. The following day his laptop was collected from his residence by the SABC , his 3G card was blocked and an urgent staff meeting were called to inform staff another manager has been appointed to act in his absence. Several BEMAWU members who witnessed this informed the union of the suspension and the fact that Mr. Leballo was escorted out of the building.

When BEMAWU filed a complaint with SABC Employee Relations, his laptop and access card were returned to him but he was refused access to the SABC and his office. Although the letter of intention to suspend stated that he had until today, close of business to forward reasons why he should not be suspended, it is clear the SABC has effectively suspended him without the opportunity to forward reasons. This is extremely prejudicial and unfair conduct of the SABC and we will not tolerate this kind of high handed behaviour by the SABC. We have requested the CCMA to declare Mr. Leballo’s suspension unfair and to award compensation for the unfair suspension.

Very broad and vague allegations were put to Mr. Leballo which makes it difficult if not impossible to respond to.

On a different note...
Seemingly the new Board and Mr. Mokoetle has declared war on its employees. Whilst most serious allegations pointed out in the AG’s report and other forensic audit reports are left unattended, we received confirmation that employee’s attendance are under investigation.  According to a source the Board has requested the access and departure times of staff with the aim to discipline employees for times they arrived late or left early. What a twisted way of performance management! Should we not rather start at the core of the problem, the AG Report and get rid of the corrupt and big spenders? Should we not rather monitor performance rather to police minutes at work? Something is seriously wrong with our HR system. The SABC is managed by litigation. We see these endless disciplinary hearings of trivial offences, but no word about the serious ones.

The SABC is a very sick organisation. Until we remove the cancer, it will not get any better. It will die. To manage by fear is to head for failure.

No communication from the top, no communication from the Board with its stake holders. This year it will even be a greater feast for the media writing about the SABC. One would think that the official broadcaster of the WC would have a better attitude towards its employees.