Sophie Mokoena is a South African journalist who works for SABC as the senior foreign editor.
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Professional Life of Sophie Mokoena
She joined the SABC in 1994 and was based in Johannesburg. Mokoena was the anchor of a current affairs programme on Lesedi FM which was then called SiSuthu Stereo.
She then relocated to Bloemfontein when Lesedi FM relocated to the city. Mokoena was a reporter by then. In 1999 she left Bloemfontein and went to Cape Town where she joined the Political Affairs team.
In 2019 Mokoena was one of three senior SABC News staff members who were facing numerous charges over the irregular expenditure of R2.5 million involving a foreign news agency and allegations of poor performance.
Mokoena was allegedly implicated by a report as having assigned stories to a fairly new international news agency, Features Story News (FSN), without a contract.
This act amounted to irregular expenditure as no contract was in place to justify work done by the agency. As a result, Mokoena was also facing charges for her failure to adhere to SABC procurement processes when appointing the foreign news agency.
Another charge emanating from the arrangement with FSN against Mokoena included negligence, with arguments that Mokoena as a manager should have known that the Public Finance Management Act does not permit for a contract of that value to be signed without going to tender.
However, those close to her said Mokoena cannot be blamed for sourcing content from FSN, stating that when she took over her new position, all contracts with international news service providers such as AFP and Reuters had expired and there was no legal person to deal with the renewal of the contracts.
The sources added that the international news service providers refused to supply the SABC with stories without a contract hence she took the decision to engage FSN as a last resort.