Nzimande slams SABC’s news coverage

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IOL pic feb26 blade nzimande seated Independent Newspapers SACP general secretary Dr Blade Nzimande. File picture: Masi Losi

Johannesburg -

The SABC’s local news reporting is “shallow, unprofessional and focused on anti-ANC personalities”, while its international coverage “tends to simply serve the line taken by the major imperialist powers”.

And the public broadcaster’s other programming “glorifies the empty, consumerist lifestyle of wealthy socialites”.

This is the current state of the SABC’s news coverage, according to the SACP.

The party did not say which “anti-ANC personalities” enjoy the SABC’s coverage, but took a swipe at the DA and Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The SACP attributed this state of news content at the SABC to the alleged corruption dogging the public broadcaster.

“The looting of the SABC over a long period has also had a disastrous impact on the morale of professional journalists and on the quality of the SABC’s programming,” according to SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.

He was addressing journalists at the party’s post-central executive committee media briefing in Joburg on Sunday.

Asked if his statements did not mean that the SACP was intent on interfering with the SABC’s editorial policy, Nzimande said: “It’s not us wanting to interfere. It’s the SABC interfering with its own editorial code. The (SABC’s coverage of) Sona (State of the Nation address) was atrocious. We want fair, objective reporting by the SABC.”

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago laughed off Nzimande’s accusations.

“Not so long ago, we had other people (political leaders) accusing us of bias. We are used to these kinds of comments, especially when it’s election time. That (criticism) for us shows that we are doing something right,” Kganyago said.

Nzimande on Sunday called on the SABC board to “act decisively” on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s adverse report into the corporation.

“Failure to act decisively on both the public protector’s report and the findings of the SIU (Special Investigating Unit) will amount to complicity with wrongdoing,” said Nzimande, who is also the higher education minister.

Nzimande praised his fellow comrades in the SACP deployed in the government for their fight against corruption.

He singled out the party’s deputy president, Thulas Nxesi, who is also the public works minister, for “the leading role he is playing in turning around a department.

“While the media has focused on the corruption that Nxesi has helped uncover in the refurbishment of the president’s residence in Nkandla, this is just the tip of the iceberg of corruption that has historically prevailed (in the department).

Nzimande lashed out at the DA and EFF, branding the official opposition the “arrogant party of monopoly capital and minority privilege” and the latter the party “led by the most corrupt tenderpreneurs”. - The Star


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