Icasa to probe SABC show cancellation

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IOL news oct 10 sabc_sep 15

Independent Newspapers

The SABC has paid back part of a R1 billion Nedbank government gauranteed loan. File photo: Cara Viereckl

Johannesburg - The last-minute cancellation of a MetroFM discussion on the ANC's upcoming national conference will be investigated, Icasa said on Thursday.

“The authority has requested the SABC to provide facts related to this incident,” the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) said in a statement.

“(This is) with the purpose of determining whether the incident referred to constitutes a violation of its licence terms and conditions as well as the SABC editorial policy.

“The authority will apply its mind to determine its next course of action.”

The broadcaster was given until Tuesday to respond.

Comment from SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago could not immediately be obtained.

Three political journalists were scheduled to appear on MetroFM's “Talk with Sakina”, presented by Sakina Kamwendo, on Tuesday to discuss media coverage of the conference in Mangaung.

The talk was cancelled at the last minute.

Sunday Times political editor S'thembiso Msomi, Business Day political editor Sam Mkokeli and Financial Times Southern African bureau chief Andrew England were reportedly already at the SABC studios when the interview was cancelled.

SABC group radio executive Leslie Ntloko said on Wednesday that management had received the list of guests for the cancelled segment late.

When management learned the ANC was not participating, the plug was pulled.

He said the ANC needed to be a part of the discussion.

“We looked at (the briefing) and asked whether there was fairness and balance. We took the decision because there was no fairness,” Ntloko said.

He cited SABC rules that when an issue involved an event of national importance, and a political party, that party had to be invited to participate. - Sapa


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