Icasa to hear SAPS DA advert complaint

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Johannesburg - Icasa's complaints and compliance committee resolved on Thursday to hear the police's complaint that a DA television advert incited violence.

“All parties complied with the timelines,” chairman Wandile Tutani said after the committee adjourned to make a decision.

“We may now proceed to deal with the merits of the case.”

Earlier the Democratic Alliance insisted the SA Police Service (SAPS) had waited too long to complain about the party's election advert.

“The law is clear, the regulations are clear... that should be the end of this complaint,” Nick Ferreira, for the DA, told the Independent Communications Authority of SA's committee at a public hearing in Johannesburg.

“The law expressly demarcates the time period in hours... Election adverts are urgent.”

The 'Ayisafani' (It's not the same) advert shows the DA's Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane standing in front of a mirror talking about the current state of the country.

The police argue the part of the advert where Maimane says “the police are killing our people” with images of a policeman shooting at a person, would “invite violent acts against the members of the SAPS”.

In terms of rules governing election advertisements, all complaints should be lodged 48 hours after the advert was initially aired.

The DA said police were “hopelessly out of time” to lodge a complaint because the advert was originally aired on April 8 and 9.

William Mokhari, for the police, told the hearings that they only became aware of the advert on April 11 and lodged a complaint on April 20.

The advert was previously banned by the SABC after it was flighted on April 8 and 9. The public broadcaster said the advert incited violence.

The DA laid a complaint with Icasa, after which a public hearing was held on the matter. The DA and SABC came to an agreement on April 16 and the broadcaster aired it again.

However Mokhari argued that they were late but not hopelessly late.

“We acknowledge that we are out of time but we are not hopelessly out of time,” he said.

The hearings continued with Mokhari playing the clip.


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