What's Happening?


Update: The Big Debate Pulled Off Air

A few minutes ago, veteran TV and radio presenter, Siki Mgabadeli, tweeted that her SABC 2 talk show, The Big Debate, has been canned. 

Here are the series of tweets from Siki

  • @sikimgabadeli: Today was supposed to be the debut of season 2 of , unfortunately we've been pulled off the air. We don't know why:-(
  • @sikimgabadeli: I cannot express how angry I am now!! . is off the air.
  • Well, they can't stop us! We are going ahead with the recordings. has been pulled off the SABC.
  • No mistake. We've been told, no more airing of the show.“: Surely there's some mistake. You've just been to NYC for the show??
  • It looks like it came from the very top of the SABC. No explanation. “: What happened? Any explanation? Whose decision?”

The show was to premiere tonight on SABC 2 for a second season. 
We have sent an email to SABC 2 to find out why the show has been canned.

Update: Channel24 reported that the show was canned "because it was wrongly outsourced and in the process compromised the SABC newsroom." 
According to the article, which was written by TV scribe, Thinus Fereirra, it was no mistake that the show was pulled off air at the last minute. 
The article states that SABC's acting COO, Hlaudi Moetseneng, ordered the popular town hall format talk show off the SABC, just a few hours before the second season of the show aired on SABC 2. 
SABC spokesman, Kaizer Kganyago said: "The Big Debate, which is a current affairs programme, was incorrectly commissioned by SABC2, and in so doing, the editorial oversight, which is the responsibility of the newsroom, was compromised. This is all we are prepared to say on the matter," he told Channel24. "It is  against the policies of the SABC to outsource news and current affairs... Editorial responsibility for all news and current affairs content is vested in the newsroom".

Our View

  • Surely they could have communicated this so Siki and her producers before commissioning a second season and waiting a few hours before the premier of the show? 
  • Once again the handling of things at the SABC is shoddy and it's a shame that such a popular and important show has basically been silenced. 
  • It also doesn't make much sense to can the show. Siki could easily take the show to rival broadcaster, e.tv and they would air it. 
  • What will it take for the SABC to realise that it needs shows that will create debate in South Africa? The Big Debate provided exactly that- a platform to debate and talk about issues that affect all South Africans. 
  • SABC 1's Sunday Live is a shell of its former self and The Big Debate had replaced the show in terms of dealing with issues pertinent to South Africans. 

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