John Perlman's on-air confrontation of SABC blacklisting practices was not a "spur of the moment" one, writes Karyn Maughan in The Star.
Speaking for the first time about his controversial resignation from SAfm, Perlman on Tuesday said his decision to challenge SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was made after discussions among concerned SABC staff members.

"It flowed out of a process of engagement internally that had been going on for three months and it was grounded in intensive discussions with colleagues about what was the right thing to do.

"It wasn't a sudden 'let's have a bit of excitement here' thing. It was very carefully considered," he told The Star on Tuesday.

'It was grounded in intensive discussions with colleagues about what was the right thing to do'
He said there were "other very, very brave people, with a lot to lose, who also took a stand.

"One of the problems I've had is that this whole thing has become very personalised. I've been one of the people personalised in it and, while I appreciate the support and the warm wishes, I do think the challenges faced by the SABC go beyond the personalities who have been highlighted in the debate … and I think that people need to start asking deeper questions about what's happening to the SABC, I really do."

Perlman said he had no regrets about revealing that the blacklisting practices – denied by Kganyago – were in fact taking place.

"It was scary," he said. "There were times when I woke up in the middle of the night with my eyes as big as gingerbread biscuits.

"Did I take on the people I work for? Yes, I suppose in some sense I did. But they are not the only people I work for…

"I measured what I did against the editorial charter of the SABC.

"It's absolutely clear, to me, on what my responsibilities were to all of our stakeholders and that includes the public … so your bosses in an institution like that are major stakeholders but they're not the only ones. That's why it's called the public broadcaster.

"You as a citizen have a right to be concerned about public broadcasting," he said.