Modeled on the BBC, with three free-to-air channels, a 24-hour news channel and 18 radio stations, the SABC is in nearly every South African home, and is beamed to some neighboring countries. An investigative report by the Afrikaans-language newspaper Rapport this week revealed that within its tower overlooking Johannesburg, the SABC’s inner workings have come to resemble satire.

A source within the SABC told Rapport:

“Then came the requirement that at least 80% of news coverage had to be positive. That raised a few eyebrows, but we knew there were big problems when Hlaudi suddenly banned coverage of violent protests. That’s when the stories we covered started changing completely. Municipal and political stories slowly but surely began disappearing and the focus shifted to covering ceremonies rather than issues.”

“I saw with my own eyes how visuals of the stadium emptying out during the president’s Youth Day address were cut out,” another journalist told Rapport. “And all of it in the name of nation building.”

Motsoeneng also reportedly ordered that all camera operators be retrained because their camera angles “make [Zuma] look shorter,” the newspaper reported. An SABC spokesman defended the order to Rapport, saying that quality footage had to be a “true reflection” of the man in front of the camera.

Motsoeneng first courted controversy in 2014 when South African state watchdog, the Public Protector, found that he didn’t have a high school diploma and had abused his power as head of the SABC by inspecting male anchors’ outfits and interfering in editorial content. Unfazed by the damning report and ensuing bid to remove him, in the 2014/2015 financial year Motsoeneng increased his own salary by a million rand (around $65,000) and awarded himself a bonus of nearly 300,000 rand (nearly $20,000), even as the SABC struggled, kept afloat by state funding and TV licenses.

“Some leaders are born. Like myself, I am a born leader, so you can’t take that away from me,” Motsoeneng said during the ongoing court battle to have him removed by the opposition party and rights groups. He is reportedly considering imposing an SABC uniform to promote internal unity.

Motsoeneng continues to enjoy the backing of the SABC board and the government’s ruling party.

The SABC could not be reached for comment.

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